Ascend: Leadership Through Athletics

Ascend: Leadership Through Athletics

Sport-for-development program that develops Afghan girls' and women's self-confidence, leadership skills and civic engagement through the sport of mountain climbing. Goals include providing young Afghan women and girls the tools to become motivated leaders and role models to ultimately help their society transition to peace and embrace gender-equality.
501(c)3 nonprofit headquartered in Washington, D.C. Program operates in Afghanistan. 

Ascend Athletics develops Afghan girls' and women's self-confidence, leadership skills and civic-engagement through through the sport of mountain climbing to promote equal rights and civic-mindedness in Afghanistan. Our holistic approach to female-empowerment-through-sports combines physical fitness, leadership training, self-confidence workshops and community service to offer Afghan teens and young women the opportunity to better themselves and their communities. Teammembers embark on several rigorous mountaineering expeditions in the course of a year, ranging from six to 28 days in duration. 

Mountaineering allows our girls and women to experience a community where they are vaued for their motivation, perserverence, hard work and passion. Our program challenges the oppressive gender roles often opposed on Afghan women by allowing them the freedom to challenge themselves with abmitious goals in mountaineering and life. We want our girls to reject the norm that "girls can't," and prove to themselves and the country that "girls can."  

Ascend graduates have gone on to pursue higher education, travel, run marathons, become certified yoga instructors, and even participate in traditionally male-only community meetings. They have played roles in contributing financially to their families, allowing them agency that is usually reserved for males. 

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Twitter and Instagram: @afghan_ascend


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About organisation

Organisation type

Non-profit organization
Non-profit organisation/charity/NGO/INGO




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