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Ethiopia is known for its poor conditions and tough lifestyle, but skater Israel Dejene has launched a new project called Ethioskate – a tool for motivating and inspiring kids and teens to be whatever they dream of. Dejene uses skateboarding to focus them away from drug addiction and crime, and has built the first ever skatepark in Ethiopian history.

By a village situated in the mountains of Addis Ababa, I saw kids sliding down the asphalt with plastic fixed to the underside of their shoes. As a passionate skater, this inspired me to bring skating to this particularly tough neighbourhood as a way of empowering kids. As a result “Love in Action” Ethio Skate project was born in my heart. The community includes boys and girls between the ages of 6 and 19 in the Intoto area of Addis Ababa. Many of the kids are hawking in the city day by day and are slipping through the cracks in the system. Ethioskate uses skateboarding as a tool for empowering youth, to create new opportunities and to be the potential for change. We hope to grow a sustainable organization that is recognized locally and globally for changing the lives of youth through skateboarding - Israel Dejene

Ethioskate from Aaron Hutchinson on Vimeo.