On September 25th, 2019 AWC Berlin partnered with KCRW Berlin and journalist Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson to bring the inspiring documentary Ascending Afghanistan: Women Rising to the Astor Film Lounge in Berlin. This event raised money and promoted awareness for Ascend Afghanistan, a U.S. NGO founded by Marina LeGree, that teaches leadership and life skills to young ladies in Kabul, Afghanistan.
The team of AWC volunteers worked with Soraya and Marina from early May through the matinee and evening screenings to make this Ascend’s top fundraiser, netting over $8,800 for their program. The theater expense was generously underwritten by Jutta Von Falkenhausen, which allowed proceeds from ticket and merchandise sales to go directly to Ascend. Artwork created by students of the program was available for purchase, as was Ascend logo merchandise. Over 150 people attended the two screenings.
During the program, Soraya and Marina spoke about the program and the life of women in Afghanistan. Herr Muller, from the foreign affairs office representing Afghanistan, attended the matinee screening and also addressed the audience. Two of the young Afghan ladies in the program spoke with the audience live via a Skype connection from Kabul, Afghanistan after the film concluded. They shared their message of hope and made us all aware of how much work still needs to be done to create a safe and empowering environment for them in a country they love.
With this funding, Ascend will send more Afghan girls on their first-ever camping and hiking trips and help them learn the value of voluntary service in their local communities. They will ensure they have safe climbing gear and equipment and provide daily activities that help them grow stronger in mind, body, and spirit. Thank you to all AWC members that supported this event with monetary donations, time or both. The planning committee members were: Stephanie Biery, Karen Castellon, Sandy Chen Kluth, My Linh Kunst, Maggie Repp, Lissa Rosenbloom, Janel Schermerhorn and Sara Switzman. Silvia Malo, Sharon Owen, Adri Oldham, Sydney Ware, Guevara Rowand, Rose Finley, Rhonda Staudt, Elyzabeth Simpson and our two student volunteers, Andrew and Paul, ensured the day of the event ran smoothly.
If you would like to learn more about Ascend or make a donation to this organization, visit: www.ascendathletics.org.