Teaching Refugees to Skate

Vague Mag Spends a Month with Free Movement

Free Movement is a nonprofit org that runs skate sessions for local and refugee kids. Founded back in 2017 the Athens based org promotes equality, inclusion, and wellbeing through skating.

Last year, Max Harrison-Caldwell, a journalist who hails from SF spent a month volunteering with Free Movement Skateboarding in Athens, Greece.

It wasn’t until a few days ago that Max shared his experience with Vague Mag. It’s hard to imagine what it’s like volunteering in a refugee camp let alone volunteering to also help teach kids to skate. But Max tried to capture the emotion that was those 30ish days in Greece.

Check out the full piece over on Vague here.

Skateboarding cannot provide shelter or healthcare or clothing or freedom of movement between countries. It cannot expedite the asylum application process. It cannot protect refugees from violent nationalists. What it can provide is a diversion for bored kids, and an endless set of skills to work on. Each time we pulled into a camp, cries of “Skateboard!” rang out in the stillness and children ran to get their friends. It could be a struggle to get the pads on their tiny, wriggling limbs while they jumped in excitement, eager to secure their favorite boards, and even more of a struggle to keep the smaller ones from running into each other once they got rolling, but to see a kid persevere through a half hour of falling and learn something new made it all worth it.