SWAT: Girls from different parts of Swat attended an eight-day mountaineering and rock climbing course on Wednesday.
The training entitled “Girls in Action” was organized by Mountain Wilderness International, Spain, in collaboration with SPS College Swat. The training was sponsored by the International Association for Mediterranean and Oriental Studies.
International instructors, including veteran mountaineer Carlo Alberto Pinelli, also a Sitar-i-Imtiaz recipient, Patrizia Romangalo, Giuliana Pagliari, Cóncep Miró I Carrera and Moizza S Elahi trained the girls in trekking, hiking, camping, climbing, first aid and rescue. They were also treated to a tour of the remnants of the Gandhara civilization in the district.
The girls said that for the first time in their lives they had the opportunity to learn things outside of their homes and schools. “We have mountains around us but we have never explored them and never tried to climb a rock because we were always afraid of it. This training allowed us to do adventurous activities. Now we can easily climb a rock and walk up a mountain,” said Sameera Malik, a training participant.
“We learned about the civilization and art of Gandhara by visiting archaeological sites during the training. We found them amazing and useful,” said Laila Rauf, another participant, adding that she also learned about the history of SWAT.
The instructors appreciated the girls’ active participation in the training and said that if given the opportunity, they could excel in all areas, including mountaineering and rock climbing. On occasion, Carlo Pinelli indicated that after the basic course he would organize an advanced level course for girls. He said that mountains are blessings to human beings and should not be seen as a place for sports and entertainment.
Patrizia Romangalo, the rock climbing instructor, said the Swat girls were bold and active and learned the skill quickly, which was amazing for her.
“It was the most amazing experience of my life training the girls in Pakistan.
Concep Miro I Carrera, Vice President of Mountain Wilderness International, said she was amazed by the energy of the young girls and enjoyed working with them. “Girls should have opportunities like this because they want to do more for their mountains, their history and their culture,” she told Dawn.
At the end, the participants received diplomas and the instructors gifts and souvenirs.
Posted in Dawn, November 3, 2022