"Please Marina, I am scared. I need a safe place."
These words came from an Ascend girl who had only a few years ago climbed an 18,000' peak. This brave girl is now cowering at home, waiting for the Taliban to take over her neighborhood.
Today, the Taliban have entered Kabul. We knew the US withdrawal from Afghanistan would bring uncertainty to the country. However, the speed at which events have unfolded over the last few weeks and days has been unprecedented.
Our priority at this time is protecting our staff, their families and all those involved with Ascend. To this end, our team is working round the clock to support all those involved with Ascend in any way possible. We have always sought to provide safe spaces for young women, and now their need is at its greatest.
To this end, our message to all our followers, donors and wider supporters is simple:
It is heartbreaking watching these events unfolding. In the short term, we are doing all we can to try and ensure the safety of all those involved with Ascend. However, our mission - to empower girls - remains unchanged, and Ascend will find a way to deliver this mission despite these changing circumstances.