With the ongoing crisis in Afghanistan, tens of thousands of individuals and families are trying to escape and are fighting for their lives. Several countries and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) have contributed to the evacuation efforts, but with the Taliban seemingly in control and with groups like ISIS-K contributing to the high levels of uncertainty, the atmosphere in Afghanistan is extremely unpredictable and unsafe for many civilians.
Since 2011, the Bamyan Ski Club has been promoting skiing and snowboarding across Afghanistan. The group hosts races and events, as well as small dinners and parties, teaches children the sport through their ski school, educates on avalanche danger, and has been working relentlessly to establish a ski area with a lift in Bamyan, Afghanistan.
The Afghan Ski Challenge is the Club’s most notable event, and skiers and snowboarders from all around the world have participated. Every year, the Bamyan Ski Club creates an uphill/downhill 2-4km course in the Koh-e-Baba Mountain Range. The rules are simple:
“No weapons allowed. Everyone starts at the same time. The winner is the first person to cross the finish line.”
The Bamyan Ski Club has an excellent reputation and is becoming a global role model, but Afghanistan is currently an unsafe location for the group to reside. According to the organization:
“Our Afghan friends had become targets for the Taliban, who hate sport and tourism… Fortunately, they have just been evacuated from Kabul airport with their families, and arrived in Italy on a military plane on monday morning. Their rescue is a miracle given the current situation in the country.”
The Ski Club has accommodations in Italy for at least the next 12 months, and members are quickly applying for refugee status. Their livelihood has become completely jeopardized and many of the members, including young families, are living off of donations. Right now, donations are essentially the only way to help the Bamyan Ski Club survive, and they can be made through PayPal or sent directly to the Club’s bank account:
Bamyan Ski Club
Mühlebachstrasse 54, 8008 Zürich
IBAN CH19 0483 5125 5530 9100 0
Clearing Nr. 4835