These young women learned their skills at Skateistan, a school run by a German non-profit that teaches skateboarding to children in Afghanistan, Cambodia and South Africa, 40 percent of whom are young women. In Afghanistan, where 60 percent of the organization's students come from impoverished backgrounds, this opportunity is particularly precious, providing for many kids what is their only opportunity to play.
From the moment photographer Jessica Fulford-Dobson heard of this rousing means of female empowerment, she was hooked. "I was reading a newspaper late in 2012 when I stumbled across a small piece about girls skateboarding in Kabul," Fulford-Dobson explained in an email to The Huffington Post.
"The article was so short that I nearly missed it. The very idea of Afghan girls on skateboards captured my imagination and I thought it was a shame that such a visually striking story was compressed into a small column of text. We only seem to hear bleak news from Afghanistan, so it was really refreshing to read something so different and uplifting. I knew immediately that the Skate Girls of Kabul would be the perfect subject for me as a photographer," she told HuffPost. "I specialize in portraiture, particularly of children, and here was an opportunity to photograph young girls doing something exceptional in a beautiful, albeit war-torn, country."