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DROP AND RIDE

Drop and Ride was founded as a bike club in 2016 in Kabul, Afghanistan. The club offers cultural events, bike training and educational programs for the youth of Kabul. Today, Drop and Ride is operated by the Peace and Freestyle Organization (PFO), a non-profit organization registered in Afghanistan.

“Drop and Ride” symbolizes “dropping” the weapon and “riding” a bike instead. Drop and Ride resulted from a youth initiative from West-Kabul that wanted to create a bicycle club to address social problems through sport. This is an important and unique offer for a crisis-ridden and dangerous city like Kabul. Particularly noteworthy is the club’s effort to offer sports for boys and girls alike. Drop and Ride wants to create a safe environment for Kabul’s youth to enable sports, social exchange and education. The association currently has about 50 members and is open to anyone interested.

The youth group offers training from basic cycling up to jumps and stunts on the mountain bike. The training is based on internet videos and the knowledge is transferred from experienced members to beginners. The regular practice of sport and the self-organized and participative character of the club opened up new perspectives for boys and girls of Kabul and changed their perspective on the future of Afghanistan.

Drop and Ride embodies not only sports activities but also the social commitment of the members.

The club is strongly committed to values, such as peace, democracy and equality between men and women. For this, Drop and Ride participates in events and plans to host own events in the future in order to approach these topics through sport and culture.

In the beginning, Drop and Ride consisted of loose training on public squares and streets in Kabul. Until today, Drop and Ride still organizes a weekly group ride on the streets. In the meantime, however, the group managed to meet mainly for regular training sessions on a closed sports field, which offers more safety and better training opportunities. At the training area the club equipment is stored in a shipping container.

Drop and Ride was equipped with high-quality sports equipment at the end of 2018 in a large-scale fundraising campaign with the help of many private individuals, clubs, companies and state institutions from Europe.

Now Drop and Ride is equipped with high-end bikes, ramps, and protective gear. The people behind Abasha made this possible and now we want to continue to support Drop and Ride in the long term.

For Afghanistan, the approach of offering the training equally to girls and boys deserves special mention.

Drop and Ride enables female members to train in groups, some of which are separated according to gender and some of which are mixed. Due to the commitment for this special offer, some female members of the association now have improved their skills on the bike impressively. This backs all female members in difficult social surroundings and helps to open the restrictive role of women for them.

After the broad equipment with sports equipment and a storage container, the focus is now on the development of an educational program, which will accompany the sporting activities of the club.

Some members have already completed an advanced first aid course together. Through the planned courses, members should develop their skills, especially in the area of communication. In this way, they can share their vision for a future Afghanistan better and improve their professional prospects. For this purpose, they wish for courses in English and computer use.

At the moment we are working on a weekly English course for beginners. This is enabling all interested members of Drop and Ride to communicate with the worldwide fan circle of the association. Through donations from Europe the purchase of important teaching materials was possible and a local NGO provides a classroom. The role of the teacher is initially taken over by an experienced girl from the association with advanced English skills. In the long run, the implementation of the lessons by a professional teacher is planned. For this, we are currently still lacking regular donations.

Particularly with regard to the proposed courses in the area of computer use, higher costs for the implementation of a regular educational offer can be expected in the future. Support us!

The support of Drop and Ride is the origin of the idea for Abasha. Accordingly, the support for this project is very important to us. At Drop and Ride, young Afghans are committed to sports as well as social issues. This requires courage and conviction because the conditions in Kabul could hardly be more difficult. We want to support Drop and Ride on the difficult path to a sustainable project structure.  An important step in this direction was the founding of the NGO Peace and Freestyle Organization (PFO) in Afghanistan. This will give everyone involved behind Drop and Ride new legal opportunities and access to public funding.

Drop and Ride faces many challenges in the long run. The situation in Afghanistan hardly seems to improve and their willingness to work on sensitive issues such as equal rights and democracy is risky. Although Drop and Ride now has sufficient sports equipment and a storage container, the current training area at a football club is unfortunately only a temporary solution. The vision would be an own club area, on which a closely interwoven sport, culture and education program can be offered.  Since the financial situation of most members is very difficult, even the smallest membership fees can hardly be paid. In the long run, we want to find funding with new project partners, which makes it possible to offer all activities completely free of charge.

More information about Drop and Ride can be found here: The Story of Drop and Ride