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UNITING THE WORLD OF FITNESS
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News

International Sauna Association provides aid for Ukrainian refugees

Ukrainians call the banya their ‘second mother'
– Mikkel Aaland

Sauna Aid is a new multi-country initiative, sponsored by the International Sauna Association (ISA), providing movable sauna facilities and supportive volunteers to displaced Ukrainians fleeing their country.

Movable sauna facilities will first be sent to select locations in Poland and Lithuania. Other countries accepting Ukrainian refugees will follow.

ISA affiliates in Poland, the Czech Republic, Germany, Lithuania, Norway, Denmark, UK and Finland are coordinating the movement of the saunas, as well as recruiting and organising volunteer bath attendants to run and maintain them.

The sauna – or laznia/banya, as it is known among Ukrainians – is an important part of everyday life and provides a means of hygiene, stress relief, socialisation, psychological comfort and social identity.

The initiative has been publicised by Mikkel Aaland, sauna specialist, photographer and author of Sweat, a classic book detailing global bathing traditions.

“Sauna is not considered a luxury, nor is it only about cleanliness,” he comments, “it’s a social event that brings together the young and the old, the rich and the poor and promotes peace and a common sense of humanity.

“Ukrainians even call the banya their ‘second mother’.”

This is not the first time the ISA has provided sauna support during major world events. Following the 2011 Fukushima tsunami and nuclear plant accident, the ISA and Japanese Sauna Society maintained a tent sauna for five weeks and used it for decontamination and cleaning for more than a thousand locals.

Sauna Aid is accepting monetary donations and equipment as well as recruiting volunteers to help staff the saunas.

To donate to the initiative, follow this link or to volunteer as an sauna attendant or provide movable saunas or sauna accessories, sign up here.

Sauna diplomacy

As well as providing Sauna Aid, the ISA is offering Ukrainian and Russian officials a location and sauna to meet and work out a peaceful settlement.

Sauna diplomacy was used famously during the Cold War when Finnish president Urho Kekkonen hosted Soviet and Western leaders to a secret sauna just outside Helsinki to discuss the future of the world while comforted by the relaxing heat and steam of the sauna.

About the ISAThe ISA is a non-profit association of over 20 national sauna societies, founded in 1958. Its goal is to publicise sauna bathing and promote its use on a global scale by rallying supporters of sauna activities in different countries as well as promoting the scientific studies of the history, sociology, and medical benefits of the sauna.

Participating organisations include:

• The Australian Sweat Bathing Association.• Austrian Sauna Society.

• British Sauna Society. • Czech Sauna Association.

• Danish Sauna Society.• German Sauna Association.

• Finnish Embassy in Poland.• Finnland-Institut Berlin.

• Finnish Sauna Society.• Japan Sauna and Spa Association.

• Lithuanian Bath Academy. • New Zealand Sauna Society.

• North American Sauna Society.• Norwegian Sauna Society.

• Polish Sauna Society.• Swedish Sauna Academy.

Sauna Aid is a new multi-country initiative, sponsored by the International Sauna Association (ISA), providing movable sauna facilities and supportive volunteers to displaced Ukrainians fleeing their country.
SAB
2022/THUMB349234_763370_343616.jpg
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International Sauna Association provides aid for Ukrainian refugees

Ukrainians call the banya their ‘second mother'
– Mikkel Aaland

Sauna Aid is a new multi-country initiative, sponsored by the International Sauna Association (ISA), providing movable sauna facilities and supportive volunteers to displaced Ukrainians fleeing their country.

Movable sauna facilities will first be sent to select locations in Poland and Lithuania. Other countries accepting Ukrainian refugees will follow.

ISA affiliates in Poland, the Czech Republic, Germany, Lithuania, Norway, Denmark, UK and Finland are coordinating the movement of the saunas, as well as recruiting and organising volunteer bath attendants to run and maintain them.

The sauna – or laznia/banya, as it is known among Ukrainians – is an important part of everyday life and provides a means of hygiene, stress relief, socialisation, psychological comfort and social identity.

The initiative has been publicised by Mikkel Aaland, sauna specialist, photographer and author of Sweat, a classic book detailing global bathing traditions.

“Sauna is not considered a luxury, nor is it only about cleanliness,” he comments, “it’s a social event that brings together the young and the old, the rich and the poor and promotes peace and a common sense of humanity.

“Ukrainians even call the banya their ‘second mother’.”

This is not the first time the ISA has provided sauna support during major world events. Following the 2011 Fukushima tsunami and nuclear plant accident, the ISA and Japanese Sauna Society maintained a tent sauna for five weeks and used it for decontamination and cleaning for more than a thousand locals.

Sauna Aid is accepting monetary donations and equipment as well as recruiting volunteers to help staff the saunas.

To donate to the initiative, follow this link or to volunteer as an sauna attendant or provide movable saunas or sauna accessories, sign up here.

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Sauna diplomacy was used famously during the Cold War when Finnish president Urho Kekkonen hosted Soviet and Western leaders to a secret sauna just outside Helsinki to discuss the future of the world while comforted by the relaxing heat and steam of the sauna.

About the ISAThe ISA is a non-profit association of over 20 national sauna societies, founded in 1958. Its goal is to publicise sauna bathing and promote its use on a global scale by rallying supporters of sauna activities in different countries as well as promoting the scientific studies of the history, sociology, and medical benefits of the sauna.

Participating organisations include:

• The Australian Sweat Bathing Association.• Austrian Sauna Society.

• British Sauna Society. • Czech Sauna Association.

• Danish Sauna Society.• German Sauna Association.

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• Finnish Sauna Society.• Japan Sauna and Spa Association.

• Lithuanian Bath Academy. • New Zealand Sauna Society.

• North American Sauna Society.• Norwegian Sauna Society.

• Polish Sauna Society.• Swedish Sauna Academy.

Sauna Aid is a new multi-country initiative, sponsored by the International Sauna Association (ISA), providing movable sauna facilities and supportive volunteers to displaced Ukrainians fleeing their country.
SAB
2022/THUMB349234_763370_343616.jpg

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