• Empower athletes to realize their potential

    Ascend uses sports as a way to help young women and men learn to navigate the tough terrain of a transition environment and acquire the essential skills needed to succeed individually and with others.

    Within the peacebuilding and development sectors, there is growing recognition of sport as a powerful approach for engaging and working with at-risk youth and children emerging from war.
Unstoppable ASCEND!

During the Taliban regime, men and women were severely punished for engaging in sporting activities in Afghanistan. Since the fall of the Taliban in 2001, thousands of Afghans have revived the nation’s passion for going outside, having fun and keeping fit. Today outdoor activities are gaining popularity around Afghanistan, particularly in Kabul, but women are often discouraged from participating – or even appearing outdoors – due to perceptions of femininity based on traditional cultural and social beliefs. In 2013, ASCEND started in Afghanistan with the goal of empowering Afghan girls and young women through sports and leadership. Its first program was mountain climbing, an activity that fascinates both men and women in the community. It was not only a sport, but something that helped girls develop team-building skills, tolerance, and values. It enabled them to raise their voices and understand their potential as members of their society while giving them a ...

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