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Chockstone Forum - General Discussion

General Climbing Discussion

 Page 1 of 2. Messages 1 to 20 | 21 to 25
Author
Building a climbing gym in Kabul
Jake Simkin
25/07/2010
5:03:34 PM
Long time since I been on Chockstone. I've been away working in Afghanistan and help start Skateistan, an NGO teaching skateboarding in Kabul and now we are planning to transform the skatepark as a youth centre in which I am building a rock climbing gym in Kabul for Afghan boys and girls.

Any help or donation would be great. The walls should be built in November and we have assistance of German and French climbing clubs with holds and bolts but more is always needed.

I will have better pics online soon of climbing outdoors but you can check them at http://www.flickr.com/photos/jacobsimkin/sets/72157624450897279/


garbie
25/07/2010
5:20:22 PM
sounds good Jake, I'll send some holds, can you post an address for people to send to? If you need any advice, drop me a PM.
Jake Simkin
25/07/2010
6:57:28 PM
thanks man, I'm working on getting a diplomatic APO box or through Australian military so the donation shipping is only within Australia. Will definately need advice on setting up the best top rope setup in the gym once I get there in November.

garbie
25/07/2010
7:13:01 PM
ok Jake I'll send some info & pics
robertsonja
26/07/2010
11:45:39 AM
I actually thought this thread was a joke, but checking out www.skateistan.org, looks like you guys are for real.

Of all the things Afghanistan and Afghanis need right now, I don't think a new climbing gym would rate very high, if at all.

I won't be making any donations, especially using a foreign military as a transactional means.


rodw
26/07/2010
2:05:35 PM
Lol......spoken by someone who is not even there?

Yeah I suppose giving the kids/youth something to do rather than herd sheep, grow opium poppys and shoot at each other is a bad idea ??????.....personally I find climbing a great escape and Im sure they would too.......as well as build self esteem etc rather than being preyed on to by militants to join the holy cause becuase after all "what have those foriegn imperilaist done for them????"...on this one JR you sound like a narrow minded idiot.
One Day Hero
26/07/2010
2:29:17 PM
Hmmmm......school? climbing wall?.......sanitation and water? climbing wall?.......soccer fields? climbing wall?

Look, I haven't been there, maybe the locals are gagging to get into skating and climbing cause they see heaps of it on the red bull channel..........or maybe some gnarley dudes who are way into skating and climbing are mistaken about how much afgan kids give a shit for wierd western sports.

What is definitely kooky is rod's program to curb the growth of radical islam through woody diplomacy.........you sound like a "sunshine and butterflies" idiot who seems unable to apply critical thought to your ideas
climbingjac
26/07/2010
2:38:31 PM
Jacob! Great to hear from you! Good on you for getting off your butt and doing something that will give the kids there something fun and productive to do. Kids are entitled to smile every now and then ;-)

All the very best of luck with it :-) Perhaps you will post some progress pics of the project, and eventually, pics of the locals using the climbing gym?

rodw
26/07/2010
2:42:44 PM
Im not saying i'tll stop things but wont hurt???...much like the police boys clubs in Oz, every little bit helps to show youth that there is something else rather than the normal shit that is their everyday life?...but either way I'd tend to defer to the people on the ground involved in the situation rather than a bunch of arm chair critics.

Go the other way..hows asking for donations of holds to build a climbing wall going to make things worse?
One Day Hero
26/07/2010
3:27:03 PM
On 26/07/2010 rodw wrote:
>
>Go the other way..hows asking for donations of holds to build a climbing
>wall going to make things worse?

It won't. I think it would be less useful than donating money to normal aid organisations working in Afganistan........probably more useful than donating holds to normal aid orgs though :/
robertsonja
26/07/2010
5:02:16 PM
On 26/07/2010 rodw wrote:
>Lol......spoken by someone who is not even there?

I am not sure whether that is a statement, a question, or even if I should bother explaining myself.

>Yeah I suppose giving the kids/youth something to do rather than herd
>sheep, grow opium poppys and shoot at each other is a bad idea ??????.....personally
>I find climbing a great escape and Im sure they would too.......as well
>as build self esteem etc rather than being preyed on to by militants to
>join the holy cause becuase after all "what have those foriegn imperilaist
>done for them????"...on this one JR you sound like a narrow minded idiot.

You really show no understanding of the cultural, historical and geopolitical issues involved.

Your spelling of "foreign" and "imperialistic" shows where your really at.

dave h.
26/07/2010
5:14:42 PM
(Edit: speaking to robertsonja here).

Irrespective of the merits of building a climbing gym in Kabul, one might equally say the same for your grammar.

rodw
26/07/2010
5:40:18 PM
Sorry ill use spell check next time ...lol.
Jake Simkin
26/07/2010
10:02:00 PM
originally I thought teaching skateboarding was dumb ideas as what is skateboarding when books, water and sanitation are needed. Afghan heroes are all men with guns who fought for the country. But the change seems to come especially with obviously a need of peace where heroes with guns can be replaced with sports heroes.

Skateboarding was a sport which was somehow able to challenge a perception that girls could do it too. It had seemed to work. Skateboarding like rock climbing is about challenging fear and to me it didn't matter. I once had a girl give a speech about how coming to the skatepark was her heaven on this earth. She had come from a poor family and had been abused while begging and well if standing on a board and going down a ramp for the first time and making it is escape from her her reality then why not.

It has taken me a year to suggested getting this rock climbing wall built into the skatepark and change it concept to a youth centre of sorts teaching painting, media arts, theatre and photography. I may not be able to change the world but at least I got 300 boys and 200 girls who can at least escape the reality they are in and be able to produce some sort of output.

Sending the stuff here is costly to Afghanistan. My suggestion by military post is simple it is far cheaper and anyway it is our tax payers dollars that is paying for it to come here.

So far the French and German climbing community has donated me 5000 holds and some trad equipment, I'd love some support from my Australian community as I see it, it has been 2 1/2 years I've seen home (missing those camping trips at Arapiles) and probably another 2 till I feel the youth centres has gone well and I can move on.

And yes Jacqui and anybody else, I can put up photos of the space and show a basic design of a wall layout.
Duncan
26/07/2010
10:44:51 PM
On 26/07/2010 robertsonja wrote:
>Your spelling of "foreign" and "imperialistic" shows where your really
>at.

You're.
RNM
27/07/2010
8:23:15 AM
Interesting topic, seems somewhat deep for chockstone.

I can understand how building a skate park can seem trite in the context of a country wracked by war and poverty.

Last year I was working in Sri Lanka with the Tamil people who were being held in large camps by Sri Lankan Army. Over 300,000 people, living in the dirt in tents and make shift shelters. Comparrisons were drawn with World War II prison camps. There were stacks of NGO's all wanting access to the camps to monitor the well being of the people, all of whom had been displaced by the civil war. The people were being held captive, and rumor had it that conditions in the camps were bad. Access was denied to all the big NGOs, and there was much high level pouting, threats, and general political hoo haa. On the ground it meant that our hospital (built between several of the camps, a 'flap in the breeze' field hospital) could only treat people sent to us by the Army. When we noticed an increase in malnourished children, and quietly raised our concern with the Army, suggesting that we could start a feeding program, we stopped receiving ANY children for a week, and rarely got to see any more malnourished children. Pretty stink, and a hugely frustrating context to work in. At the time we were living in tents, and rarely saw other westeners where we lived. Then one day we met an American and a German guy at the local shop. What the hell were they doing here?! "Oh, we're touring the camps with our Puppet Show. We wanted to do something, and this is what we do". WTF!?!? They had cruised in and achieved what none of the big NGOs, UN, or foreign governments could... they had entered every camp, seen the conditions, spent time with the children and families in the camp. Not only that, but they were individuals who cared. They weren't under the banner of a big fancy NGO, and that means a lot to local people. Individuals can often achieve things that large organisations cannot.

In my experience, as important as material aid can be, a personal presence and human touch are remembered and can have as much impact. Unlocking the potential in young people is a huge and important achievement. And that is what the original poster is doing, each and every day by the sounds of it.

It is easy to shoot down this idea, and suggest that money is better spent fueling the big fancy Land Cruisers of big NGOs, but I guarantee that you will get more 'value for money' from a low key grass roots group who are on the ground and doing it for the love.

Besides, are those that criticise actually choosing to support alternative organisations, or simply justifying living a comfortable and indulgent life in Australia and not doing anything to help?

Good on you Jake, you have my respect and admiration. Keep up the good work.


davepalethorpe
27/07/2010
2:08:12 PM
On 27/07/2010 RNM wrote:
>
>Good on you Jake, you have my respect and admiration. Keep up the good
>work.
>


+1!
Jake Simkin
27/07/2010
2:46:03 PM
Thanks guys. It been a long adventure so far but perseverance to bring sport, happiness and challenges to children is paying off even on a personal level. I had worked in UNDP in Afghanistan and I found it unbearable. I was unable to hang out with my national collegues on a personal level as it was a security level. To me it broke trust and made capacity building difficult.

Thus I quit, still work freelance as a photographer and volunteer most of time here, packing my motorbike with art supplies and whatever I can do. Anyway my passion is climbing and I'd rather be showing kids climbing so why not have a crazy dream such as building a climbing gym.
devlin66
27/07/2010
3:35:44 PM
Jake, I have sent a PM about some gear I ahve which may be useful.

peterc
28/07/2010
10:50:41 AM

Thanks for your post RNM. It's always good to hear from people who are actually doing something!

On 27/07/2010 RNM wrote:
>
>Besides, are those that criticise actually choosing to support alternative
>organisations, or simply justifying living a comfortable and indulgent
>life in Australia and not doing anything to help?


I was thinking the same thing.


>Good on you Jake, you have my respect and admiration. Keep up the good
>work.
>


Yep, good on you Jake. I've just PM'd you regarding some stuff I can donate too.



 Page 1 of 2. Messages 1 to 20 | 21 to 25
There are 25 messages in this topic.

 

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