Concrete Jungle Foundation is a UK-registered charity that builds skateparks and runs youth programmes for communities around the world.
The BMS is supporting the Concrete Jungle Foundation with their skatepark and youth programmes at the Centre Fiers et Forts orphanage in Tameslouht, just outside Marrakech.
The 740 sqm skatepark at the Centre Fiers et Forts orphanage was constructed over February-April 2022 by a team of 25 international and local volunteers. During the construction of the skatepark, Concrete Jungle provided paid apprenticeships to three young, prolific Moroccan skateboarders, allowing them to learn the process of skatepark construction from A-Z while earning a fair wage.
The main aim of the project is to use the Foundation’s life-skills programme Edu-Skate to support the 35 children living at the orphanage. The children live there today due to former family situations involving neglect, abuse and violence, and so providing them with an engaging framework to work on life-skills such as resilience, positive mentality, courage and trust lies at the heart of this project. In addition, The Concrete Jungle is also organising a wide array of educational activities in skateboarding-related fields such as photography, videography, arts and crafts, recycling, and more.
The first season of the youth programmes ran between April-July 2022, while the second started in September 2022.
The ‘Planting Seeds Apprenticeship’ programme
The PSA programme is a professional development programme that provides paid apprenticeships in skatepark construction for local adolescents aged 16 and above. Over 4-8 weeks, the local apprentices work and live full-time with CJF’s professional builders and develop skills in areas such as woodwork, steel and concrete shaping, as well as planning, budgeting and design.
The PSA programme aims to provide hard, employable skills that are relevant in any construction-related field, and so offer economic opportunities to its beneficiaries. But perhaps more importantly, it exists to transfer the skills necessary for the local skate scene to take skatepark construction into their own hands, and to do so through a unique experience, good times, and new friends for life.
Practically, the PSA programme covers the complete process of building obstacles at skateparks. While they are provided guidance and support, beneficiaries are responsible for and complete almost all aspects of their obstacles themselves, thus covering the full range of skills required in skatepark construction.
Three local apprentices took part in the PSA programme in Morocco:
The 4-week PSA programme in Morocco was structured across the following themes:
The new Fiers et Forts Skatepark in Morocco is set to host CJF’s youth programmes and activities for the long-term.
The first programme to be implemented is Edu-Skate – a positive youth development programme that teaches skateboarding through the life-skills its practice induces.
Through group discussions and practical implementation of themes such as perseverance, creativity, courage and respect, the innovative curriculum aims to empower and support children in their development into healthy young adults – through skateboarding.
Edu-Skate classes are currently provided Monday – Thursday, while additional community activities are hosted on Fridays and Saturdays.
Through CJF’s continued partnership with the orphanage, they hope to both expand the number of programmes at the Fier et Forts Skatepark, as well as bring in local youth to manage key roles at the skatepark.
Through the new facility and activities, Concrete Jungle Foundation will engage and support some of the most vulnerable children in Morocco through a safe, supportive environment, healthy physical activity, as well as life-skills focused youth programmes – all through the fun of skateboarding.