In the beginning of April, a local crowdfunding campaign, Eyethu Skatepark, was officially launched on Indiegogo and by the middle of the month the campaign was trending in New York City. The aim of the campaign is to build a skatepark that will empower, connect and integrate the children of Hout Bay.
Vicki Scheffel, Project Co-Ordinator, says: “The Eyethu Skatepark initiative was borne from the need to give the at-risk youth of the Hout Bay community a safe space to come together. The community as it is, is severely lacking in safe community recreational spaces; we believe that it is important that that our youth have such spaces – they can be a creative outlet, or a way for kids to find their place.”
The Eyethu Skatepark will be built at an interchange that will visually signify the coming together of a widely diverse racial, cultural and socio-economic community. The Eyethu Skatepark Organisation believes that by providing a shared recreational space, the youth and community of Hout Bay can overcome these differences by sharing a common passion. The skatepark will become a place where the community can be exposed to positive role models; it will be a space where the differences in racial, cultural and socio-economic backgrounds simply don’t matter.
With the support of the city of Cape Town, the Hout Bay Rotary Club and Indigo Skate, all the plans are in place for the skatepark to come to life, with the help of the community and campaign backers.
The Eyethu Skatepark will create a much needed safe recreational space for the over 9 000 children in Hout Bay. With positive youth leadership opportunities, this skatepark will provide after school training programmes that take children off the streets and onto skateboards for an unconventional learning experience.
“We have found that Skating has enormous benefits such as constant learning, building friendships, staying physically active, bridging the gap between diverse backgrounds, developing leadership skills, exposure to positive role models and most importantly, having fun!”
The Eyethu Skate Park itself will have a number of benefits to the community. The project is a great precedent for other local communities to follow when driving and leading their own public spaces. The park itself will improve the integration of the neighbourhood and will bring safer street surveillance for all.
“We need the public to come together now and donate to our cause – to help us create a Skatepark that will connect, integrate and empower the youth of Hout Bay. With your help, Eyethu could become South Africa’s biggest publicly funded community project. It would also serve as a template for other grassroots initiatives to follow, in their own pursuit of envisioning, funding and creating their own public spaces.” Concludes Scheffel.
The Eyethu Skatepark Organisation, through their partnership with The Rotary Club of Hout Bay, is a registered Public Benefit Organisation (PBO), which means that Corporate Social Responsibility Donations are tax deductible too.
For information and to find out how you can get involved, you can visit the Skatepark website here or the Indiegogo campaign here.