A small group of young women in Afghanistan are out to prove a point about the future of their country. These twelve women, ages 18 to 22, come from various ethnic, religious, and socioeconomic backgrounds and comprise Afghanistan's first women's mountain climbing team.
This climbing team was formed as part of the non-profit, Ascend, an organization that uses athletics to foster unity, teamwork, and leadership skills in countries in conflict. Afghanistan is Ascend's first program and was chosen to show that, through working together, young people can play a role in the country's transition from war to peace. Through their participation, the women of Ascend are also challenging the roles of women in their conservative society.
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After a year of training, the Ascend team plans to climb one of the highest peaks of Hindu Kush, a mountain range that travels from central Afghanistan to northern Pakistan. Their climb will be an incredible physical test, but more so a testament to the commitment and strength of their team.
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Read more about this group of female mountain climbers:
Ascend: Leadership Through Athletics
NPR: Non-Profit Helps Young Afghan Women Reach Country's Tallest Peak