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£850raised of £1,500 target by 29 supporters

Weʼre raising £1,500 to Support Ascend Athletics develop female leaders in Afghanistan, using climbing and mountaineering

Sheffield, UK

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Thanks for getting so far as taking a look at this.

I have been fortunate to visit Afghanistan twice this year, helping to develop and deliver the Ascend Athletics programme. Women and girls in Afghanistan have very limited rights. Most live a domestic life with their families until they get married. Decisions are made for them by their family or husband. But those on the Ascend programme are full of energy, laughter and aspiration. Climbing is a powerful metaphor; it demonstrates that with effort, amazing things are possible.

Hanifa Yousoufi was one of the most determined course participants and is now a Programme Assistant. On August 10th Hanifa became the first Afghan woman to summit Mount Noshaq, Afghanistan’s highest peak at 7,492 metres. Mount Everest is 8,848 metres, so that is a properly big mountain!. This is a remarkable achievement and one that is important way beyond sporting prestige. It shows what women are capable of, that women can be strong and lead. Achievements like this and role models like Hanifa can begin to change the culture in Afghanistan.

During my six weeks in Afghanistan I was fortunate to work alongside Hanifa a good deal. I helped her and the rest of the staff team with administrative things like the kit store and programme curricula. We went climbing in the Panjshir Valley, to begin developing them as instructors. We took the new intake on expedition to the beautiful mountains around Bamyan, where the famous Buddha statues stood. I am so impressed with their resilience, their capacity for hope and their determination to, as they say, “be heroes”.

The full development programme also includes structured community work, group counselling and formal leadership training.

Ascend Athletics is a small organisation. The core team are driven by passion for what they do, and frequently they run operations on a shoestring. There is no government funding. Everything is made possible through donations. Volunteers like me are provided with a place to stay, but flights, insurance, food and all other costs are self-funded. Currently Ascend only operates from Kabul, and with greater funding they could set up programmes in other regions. In the meantime, £2,500 will pay for ten participants to fly (to avoid Taliban held roads) to expedition in the idyllic mountains of relatively safe Band-e Amir National Park, near Bamyan.

Please contribute anything that you can and if you feel able, let others know about what Hanifa has done and what Ascend is doing in Afghanistan. 100% of donations go to Ascend.

Also, if you happen to be in London on the evening of Thursday 6 September, come to the film showing about the programme, which we are screening at the Stronghold bouldering centre. 7.30 - 9.30 pm

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Updates

6

  • Mark Sinclair14 days ago
    Mark Sinclair

    Mark Sinclair

    14 days ago

    I'm sure they would all say "thank you" too!

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  • Mark Sinclair14 days ago
    Mark Sinclair

    Mark Sinclair

    14 days ago

    In one of the many feeding stations/ check points along the way. Not sure what I'm smiling about; maybe just popped a blister!?

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  • Mark Sinclair14 days ago
    Mark Sinclair

    Mark Sinclair

    14 days ago

    Thanks so much for all your support! Did it in 23 hours and 44 minutes :))

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1 month ago

Mark Sinclair started crowdfunding

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Page last updated on: 9/24/2018 9:25 PM

Supporters

29

  • martin penney

    martin penney

    Sep 24, 2018

    Good work MAPS

    £30.00

  • Michael Fleming

    Michael Fleming

    Sep 21, 2018

    Fantastic! What a guy. Well done you. Amazing achievement and great cause. Sorry to be late to the party. Beer soon in London to hear all about it? Cheers. Michael

    £30.00

  • Jezz

    Jezz

    Sep 20, 2018

    Great cause, Mark! Hope it went well :)

    £10.00

  • Andrew Woodvine

    Andrew Woodvine

    Sep 18, 2018

    Well done Mark! Magnificent effort! Hope the feet are holding up!

    £30.00

  • nicola parkin

    nicola parkin

    Sep 13, 2018

    Great effort, well done mark !

    £20.00

  • Vanessa Hill

    Vanessa Hill

    Sep 13, 2018

    Well done Mark - great feat for a great cause! Vanessa

    £30.00

  • Douglas Drysdale

    Douglas Drysdale

    Sep 12, 2018

    Great cause, Mark. Good luck!

    £100.00

Mark Sinclair

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About the fundraiser
Mark Sinclair

Mark Sinclair

Sheffield, UK

I'm passionate about personal development and all things outdoor! On September 1st and 2nd I'm aiming to hike the 100 kilometre Thames Path Challenge - raising money for Ascend Athletics.

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