Climbing without borders
Creating new bonds through climbing. The Swiss organization ClimbAID is helping children and young people who have been affected by war, poverty and displacement. Outdoor sports offer them a chance to make new friends and broaden their horizons.
"It’s cool to be out in the mountains. I get to climb and see new places"
Once a year, the ClimbAID family organizes a bouldering weekend in the Swiss Alps. “It’s fun to meet so many new people,” says one participant named Johannes. Climbing partner Najib is also thrilled: “It’s cool to be out in the mountains. I get to climb and see new places,” he says. This was his first encounter with climbing. “At first it was hard, but then it starts to get exciting.” Enjoying a carefree weekend, making new friends and having fun – things neither of the two young men take for granted, which is true for most of the other participants as well.
The mission of the humanitarian organization ClimbAID is to plan climbing activities that promote the development of young people affected by war,
poverty and displacement. ClimbAID hopes to help them move past these traumatic
experiences by supporting their development and boosting their self-confidence.
ClimbAID was founded in Switzerland in 2016. There are currently four projects
underway. The MaXI Family network helps integrate asylum seekers in Switzerland
into the climbing community. ClimbAID is in charge of the bouldering area in
Zurich’s Stadionbrache city park. More than 400 children and young people from
Lebanon have participated in the climbing project called “Climbing For Peace” since
2017. Thanks to a program based in the Greek capital of Athens, unaccompanied minors currently housed at a refugee camp there regularly go climbing with ClimbAID mentors.
A shared affinity for climbing: Mammut has been a sponsor of the ClimbAID project since August 2020. Both the company and the non-profit believe that outdoor sports provide a safe space that promotes respectful forms of social interaction. Experiencing one’s own physical and mental strength, developing an appreciation for nature and learning to trust others are the primary objectives of the ClimbAID climbing excursions. “For us, it’s completely irrelevant where you’re from, what kind of background you have, or what your religion and residence status are,” says Beat Baggenstos, who founded ClimbAID. Here, everyone is simply a climber and a member of the climbing community. One participant named Merih certainly agrees: “ClimbAID is like a family for me.”
"For us, it’s completely irrelevant where you’re from, what kind of background you have, or what your religion and residence status are"
Over the past four years, Beat Baggenstos has often witnessed what a positive impact climbing can have on one’s personal development:. “My goal was and is to share the joy of climbing with children and young people and in this way enable them to gain a sense of achievement. Climbing teaches them skills that also help them in their daily lives.” Just like Johannes, Merih and Najib, many other young people will continue to benefit from ClimbAID’s climbing activities in the future.
Clothing for Peace: the tee for a good cause
"Climbing for Peace" is the mission of the Swiss non-profit organizationClimbAID, which has been supporting peopleaffected by war, displacement and poverty since 2016. We have been supporting this great organization since 2020. With the purchase of our new ClimbAID T-shirt, you will also support their projects with 10% of sales going straight to the cause. Allez!