Free to Run
Free to Run’s mission is to enable women and girls to safely and boldly engage in outdoor activity in conflict-affected regions. Through a combination of sports programs, life skills development, and community outreach, we help females to reclaim public space and change views about the roles they can (and should) play in a society. Our programs are designed to develop community leaders who can bring people together across cultural, ethnic and religious lines. We work to provide our participants with the tools to succeed because they can and will be a force for positive change.
Conflicts can have a devastating impact on societies, causing suffering on a widespread scale. Women and girls are often disproportionately affected, and the particular ways in which their rights are restricted are often overlooked. Their invisibility from society is as much of a symptom of discrimination as it is a cause.
Free to Run works to support women and girls in areas of conflict through adventure sports to build physical, emotional, and social well-being. We provide them with the tools to become leaders who exercise self-determination, challenge negative norms, and boldly reclaim public spaces. Free to Run members are community leaders, advocates, and role models in their societies, bringing people together across cultural, ethnic, and religious lines. They change views about the roles that women can, and should, play in society.
In Iraq nearly 2 million people remain internally displaced in the country and are unable to return home because of violence, lack of reconstruction, and other factors. Women and girls are among the most vulnerable to violence and other human rights violations. Using relevant learnings and curriculum from our Afghanistan program, Free to Run’s Iraq program is designed to provide sports and life skills training to women and girls, ages 15-25, who come from a wide variety of backgrounds.
Other conflict areas where Free to Run is or has been active are Congo and South Sudan.
In Hong Kong Free to Run has supported refugees.
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