We were very lucky so far – many volunteers have been with us and really enjoyed being at Janwaar Castle. Please feel free to connect with them if you consider to come and visit.
If you want to join us, please drop an email to hello (at) janwaar-castle (dot) org – Thank you!
We are waiting for YOU !
India had always been on our list of places to travel and last year we were finally able to make it happen. We had heard about Janwaar-Castle through the Canadian skateboarding community and decided that it was something worth supporting and exploring. We made it a goal to visit the project during our journey but didn’t know what to expect. The kids, Ulrike and the group of friends we made during our time in Janwaar are unforgetable.
The unorthodox way in which development is happening is refreshing and inspiring. So inspiring that we pushed our plane tickets to stay for an extra week to absorb all that was going on around us. We were able to help facilitate Janwaar’s 1st Skateboard Challenge and had the opportunity to meet kids not just from Janwaar but from all over India. All of us were connected by the energy of the event and were all vibrating on a high frequency over the weekend.
The village is beautiful and quiet (which is an absolute treat in India!) and the locals have kindness in their eyes. People are being empowered, barriers are being broken and physical and mental health are being looked after. It’s an amazing experience to witness and partake in the momentum of this project and to watch it grow in it’s diverse directions.
The smiling faces of the kids, their insatiable curiosity and their willingness to let us be part of their lives are constant pulls on our hearts. You don’t have to be a skateboarder to volunteer at Janwaar Castle, you just have to have an open heart and be ready to receive.
Mannan Gupta from Delhi, March / April 2016
Being at Janwaar is a crazy feeling. Even though the resources are scarce, the skateboard park has brought kids from different backgrounds together, to have fun and learn. Life has made them tough, but that doesn’t stop them from laughing there stomachs out at the sight of a humor.
There is an unlimited source of power in the kids. They just don’t stop running, skating, playing, talking (the girls) if they are together. All their energies have been focused by the Janwaar Castle. The Janwaar kids are so keen to learn that everyone who comes in contact to them is bound to get influenced with their energy. It has kept me working madly for 5 days a week and spend two nights in train to come back to Janwaar every weekend to be with the kids.
Since May 2016 Mannan is full time with us and has driven the community way forward.
Alisha Raman, Ranchi, India
Volunteering in Janwaar was a life changing experience. The carefree and energy packed life that these kids lead is contagious. I spent most of my time talking to kids and elders, sharing my knowledge and in turn learning so much more from them. One such thing was living and learning fearlessly. Which they taught me through skateboarding but has helped me through everything I’ve done since then. It’s things like these that make me want to go back to Janwaar.
Nipun Sadvilkar from Chiplun, MH, India
“Janwaar is lively village, with lot to learn especially from kids. From not knowing what skateboarding is? to swiftly moving around edges and doing stunning tricks is what they have learnt WITHOUT trainers/How tos videos. They are the true example of ‘learning by doing’. By watching the way they skate will invoke interest in you to grab the board and give it a shot even though you fear inside to fall off 🙂 Don’t worry kids are there to help you out & support your balance. After seeing Nyjah’s astounding tricks now they have set the difficulty bar to new level so I make sure they get access to videos in their crowd funded tablets to know how actually the specific trick is done and also install educational apps for interactive learning at school. In future, I would be contributing to Model school & Maker Space, by Janwaar Castle.”
Isabel Dozer from Australia, March 2016
Working as volunteers for a month with these kids has been surreal. We had the opportunity to give a structure to their day, push their skating skills, help them learn English, and continue with community projects like building a playground and enhancing the life in the bamboo house.
It’s been incredible to form relationships with these kids to help them build life skills. Being able to offer our skills and give part of our knowledge to these kids has been rewarding. Ultimately, hanging out with these kids everyday has been incredible fun, sometimes exhausting, but mostly eye opening to the endless possibilities of their futures that Janwaar Castle and skateboarding can give them.
Garry Manfroid from Belgium, March 2016
Harriet Alana from UK, February 2016
I had the most incredible time at Janwaar Castle and it was an absolute pleasure to bring Brash Skate and Create to the children there. We skateboarded, played games and made art together. It made me so happy to see the children enjoying themselves and learning new skills. I was blown away by the superb behaviour and nature of all of the kids – so polite, friendly, and enthusiastic. I am thrilled to have been a part of this project and have every intention of returning!
Anna Solvanna from Germany, December 2015 – February 2016
Philipp Zipfel from Germany, December 2015 – February 2016
I stayed in Janwaar for three months and just had an overwhelming experience. The place is so beautiful and rough as well, which makes it unique and special. The kids from the village are awesome. They skate, they laugh, they fall, they cry, just like everybody else – they have much more power and fun than most city kids, what makes it a blast to work with them.
To all skaters out there, especially those from India, keep an eye on our kids!
You won´t believe what they already can do on a skateboard, although without shoes, they probably beat you already 🙂 And for everybody else, the skatepark is the best in India for sure and probably one of the most remotest ones on earth, so go there please!
Cassie Broadwin from US, December 2015
It’s been three months now that I’ve been back in the states, but I still think about the lessons I learned during my time spent in Janwaar, almost daily. These children really did uphold what I call steadfast goodnature. They proved their loyalty and faithfulness to each other, their families, and village. They recognized their nationality. I saw their commitment to a system of shared values that extended well beyond relations at the rural skatepark. I saw a sense of dignity and a constant source of joy and eagerness towards learning. These kids had morals, and in terms of emotional intelligence- were leaps ahead of the city kids. They were devoted to self-improvement and had high hopes for themselves and for each other. As I’m gradually putting together a film about this entire experience, I get to relive moments through skimming old footage. I really do feel fortunate to have built a connection with this community- however rapidly it must be changing and growing on the other side of the world. Janwaar Castle is a project and a people that I couldn’t help but pour my heart into. They’re truly doing something radical in their own community, and across new generations of skateboarders in India. I press you to pay attention to the symbolism of their actions. This is momentous.
Anveer Metha from Goa, October / November 2015
Coming to Janwaar was one of the best things I’ve ever done! I received so much love from the children and people here that I couldn’t have ever imagined. The atmosphere is full of positivity and, as you leave, you realise how much the experience has taught you.
Vivek Vashist from Delhi, June 2015
I am passionate about exploring places and learning myself during the journey. Janwaar Castle holds a special place for me. While teaching the kids of Janwaar I think I’ve learned more.
I am an electronic engineer, Teach for India fellow, youth ambassador, intentional Antarctic expedition and a volunteer at Janwaar Castle.
Marcel Schwarz from Germany, March / April 2015
Through my interest in skateboarding to a wider extent I came across the project. As a student of BA Modern Indian Studies at Göttingen University I spent four weeks at Janwaar Castle in March / April 2015. It was a really enriching experience to see such a project pulling off. On the one hand it was about showing the kids the first steps / moves and security aspects on a skateboard. On the other hand I let them experience English using tablets at the local school. It was remarkable to see that not only boys were really eager to skateboard, but even girls did not show less interest – they had a lot of fun, too.
It is indeed a speciality to have such a great skatepark in a rather small village, thus enabling the children to have a good opportunity to seek precious moments on their skateboards as well as a good togetherness with others sharing the equipment. I enjoy remembering my time I spent there and I would really like to come back one day.