After several months of conscientious work, Ski 4 Change is pleased to announce the successful execution of a ski tournament that took place at Corvatsch Mountain in St. Moritz, Switzerland on Saturday, March 28.
Led by Igor and Nikita Shcherbakovskiy, Ski 4 Change was lucky enough to partner with the Silvaplana Champfer Ski Racing Team, UBS (Swiss bank), Pantecnica, 3G Trading and SkiService Corvatsch. The run began at 10 am and nearly 60 participants raced one another in the ensuing hours. One of the participants was the renowned World Cup skier, Giorgio Rocca. The other skiers—many of whom were on Spring Break holiday from school—were thrilled to see a world-class skier competing against them. At the end of the race, the event organizers awarded lots of prizes that were donated by the sponsors. Nikita, co-founder of Ski4Change, addressed the participants and thanked them for their participation, and detailed the charity’s efforts to raise funds for Project Education South Sudan. The charity members were overjoyed to see so many people turn out for a race in support of an excellent cause, raising much-needed funds for Project Education South Sudan, a non-profit that supports educational programs and schools in one of the world’s newest and most destitute countries. Ski 4 Change is tremendously grateful to the people who helped organize this event, including the referees, head coaches and mountain officials.
Ski 4 Change was founded in early 2015 with the mission to aid low-income and disadvantaged youth. The founders, Igor and Nikita Shcherbakovskiy, aim to foster tolerance and academic achievement among some of the world’s most disadvantaged children and teenagers through the sport of skiing. Devoted skiers, the two brothers’ goal is to raise awareness and support for education in South, a charitable organization that was created in response to the destruction and unrest created by war between northern and South Sudan. South Sudan is the world’s newest country and it has been devastated by political turmoil and a twenty-year civil war. The charity’s goal is to provide funding and support to Project Education South Sudan, which works to fight high illiteracy rates and help support primary schools in rural areas by emphasizing access to education for women and girls. It also helps provide clean water wells, commercial grinding mills, cinderblock-making equipment, sewing machines and school supply money. This organization also supports leadership development among women and girls, encourages literacy and teacher training, and supports feminine hygiene and HIV/AIDS health. By partnering with this organization, the charity aims to offer crucial support for the economy and educational system of South Sudan, emphasizing the education and economic literacy of women and girls especially.
With this event, the organizers were trying to incrementally change both the face of skiing—through diversifying the sport and using it to support non-profits—and the trajectory of education for the world’s poorest children. For most of these children, access to health care and education is a dream that we are helping to realize by gathering the financial support that will enable them to live, eat and learn. Project Education South Sudan manages all aspects of opening primary schools, including building wells and primary school classrooms, providing school supplies and procuring sewing machines. These schools are insular communities, in which children are protected from the violent forces that are still at play in the country.
In an effort to make the sport of skiing more democratic and less elitist, the charity also seeks to partner with non-profit organizations in the United States in order to address a special need in the community, serving children in poverty-ridden, inner-city neighborhoods riddled with gang violence. By partnering with these community groups, Ski 4 Change aims to foster a love of skiing by emphasizing self-discipline, self-empowerment and curiosity. The charity is hosting an essay contest in order to send its winners on an adventure—a day spent learning to ski on the slopes. Ski 4 Change understands the importance of writing as a life-sustaining skill necessary to improving academic success, critical thinking and fostering independence and positive attitudes. Ski 4 Change is also bringing inner-city children together with college ski teams for afternoons of ski instruction. By partnering with these organizations, the charity seeks to improve the lives of youth by inspiring an incentive to write and providing access to the opportunity to ski for the first time.
Future projects include another tournament, as well as a rivalry tournament between racers of nearby private schools. The brothers Shcherbakovskiy hope to engender a fun spirit of competition and also raise awareness among area youth about the need for aid to South Sudan. They hope that by hosting recreational ski events they can bring the plight of South Sudan to people’s attention and also spread their love of skiing. Throughout the process of organizing the tournament, they learned important management skills, outreach tactics and, most of all, had a lot of fun. Ski 4 Change looks forward with great excitement to its future events!