I wanted to do this for a long time – now it’s finally done: A collection of all the photos we have of our Barefoot Skateboarders in Janwaar. I am sure there are more kids in the village who are skateboarding, we just haven’t captured each and everyone of them on a picture yet – so this will remain an ongoing endeavour 🙂
Over all, there are 250 kids in the village – more than half you can see here. It’s colourful and it provides an insight into the village and its youngest inhabitants.
When I sent out the first version to the members of our charity, Nicola Claire, who was in Janwaar just after the first skatepark was opened in 2015, replied the following to me – it made me smile and somehow proud 🙂
“What I see in those photos is a long way from what I saw six years ago. Then I met a group of rather bedraggled looking children, who had a listlessness about them. In their movements, walking, playing etc., they seemed to lack a sense of self-esteem. These photos show children who are happy, full of joy, expressing in their posture self-confidence and freedom. There is a sense of purpose about them that leaps out of the pages, no longer victims, but individuals with a future and a purpose, even the youngest.
You gave them the lifeline. I remember well our conversation in the hotel lobby in Hannover. Your absolute conviction that any changes needed to grow organically, and not change their lives to different ones, but change the way they live, and think, about their existing lives to improve life for the entire village. They grasped the lifeline with both hands, listened, and little by little understood what changes they could make, step by step. You set them free from poverty, not of material things, but the poverty of their minds, poverty of aspiration and ambition. Now they are rich in realising what they can achieve and already inspiring the youngest to imagine things differently.“