Our Mission

Free to Run’s mission is to use running, physical fitness and outdoor adventure to empower and educate women and girls who have been affected by conflict. We support those living within conflict areas as well as those who have been forced to flee and live as refugees outside of their home countries.

The ability to participate in physical fitness and outdoor adventure is related to important human rights and fundamental freedoms, including the right to health and freedom of movement. Unfortunately, in many areas of the world there are few opportunities to participate in sports. Women and girls are especially restricted as a result of widespread discrimination and traditional beliefs about female roles. In countries like Afghanistan, harmful cultural and gender norms significantly limit the ability of women and girls to engage in activities outside the home. Particularly in areas affected by conflict, sports opportunities are extremely limited or even nonexistent due to a lack of resources and insecurity.

There is an overwhelming need to develop opportunities for women and girls to become involved in sport and physical education. The benefits of these activities are too numerous to count. On an individual level, they can help to develop emotional and physical well-being and personal power. At the community, regional or national level, sports programs can be used as a tool to promote gender equity, enhance children’s and women’s rights, and address harmful discriminatory practices.  

Sport activities can also be used as a platform to provide important life skills education. Through sports, women and girls have the opportunity to convene around a common interest, build their social networks, and develop their independence and public participation outside of the home. We strongly believe in the power of sports to transform the lives of women and girls, and we're deeply committed to making that happen.


WHAT WE DO

Free to Run uses running, physical fitness and outdoor adventure to empower and educate females who have been affected by conflict. It's not just sports. It's a chance to experience a full and free life.

 

Safe spaces
We create opportunities for women and girls to engage in sporting activities in a safe and supportive environment.


Running and Sporting Clubs
We help to create sustainable sports clubs for females students in schools and communities, including organizing outdoor sports camps and running events.


Material Support
We provide material support to females engaged in running, fitness and outdoor sports, including funds for running shoes and culturally-appropriate clothes. 


Life Skills Training
Through sports activities, we train participants in life skills, including problem-solving, teamwork, coping with stress and resilience.   


Mixed Gender Sports
Where possible, we create opportunities for women and men to participate in sporting events together.


Advocacy
We advocate for female participation in sports at the local, national and international levels.


Leadership
We provide international sports opportunities for individuals who display strong leadership potential to become ambassadors for others.