Help us bring the warmth and healing powers of sauna to refugees fleeing the war in Ukraine
Donate, raise funds, volunteer or offer materials – everyone in the worldwide sauna community can take part and make an impact! Sauna Aid is a relief initiative that operates under the auspices of the International Sauna Association (ISA) – a non-profit organisation founded in 1958 and consisting of over 20 national sauna societies.
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Funds Raised (updated on May 19th at 11:30 GMT)
The Sauna Aid initiative
Sauna Aid is a multicountry initiative, sponsored by the International Sauna Association (ISA), to provide movable sauna facilities and supportive volunteers to displaced Ukrainians fleeing their war-torn 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 Japan, Poland, Czech Republic, Germany, Lithuania, Norway, Denmark, United Kingdom, and Finland are coordinating the movement of the saunas, as well as recruiting and organizing 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, socialization, psychological comfort, and social identity. It is not considered a luxury, nor is it only about cleanliness. It is 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 call the banya their “second mother”.
Providing sauna support during disasters is not new to the ISA. During the 2011 Fukushima tsunami and nuclear plant accident, ISA and the Japanese Sauna Society maintained a tent sauna for five weeks and used it for decontamination and cleaning of over a thousand locals.
Sauna Aid is accepting monetary donations and equipment as well as recruiting volunteers to help staff the saunas.
Offer your sauna facilities to refugees
Besides providing onsite mobile sauna support, Sauna Aid coordinates and promotes free and subsidized access to existing public sauna/bath houses in countries hosting Ukrainian refugees. If you are involved with a public bath facility that offers these services, or is interested in offering these services, Sauna Aid would like to help. We can publicize your generosity, offer trauma training for your bath attendants, and in some cases, help financially. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Therapeutic skills for sauna professionals
Sauna Aid is also in the process of creating and distributing a transferrable healing toolkit for bathmasters to approach trauma, loss and suffering. More information to follow.
Who we are
About The International Sauna Association (ISA)
The International Sauna Association (ISA) is a non-profit association of over 20 national sauna societies. The ISA was founded in 1958. Its goal is publicizing the sauna and promoting 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.
Japan Sauna Spa Association, Lithuanian Bath Academy, Association of Professional Bathmasters, British Sauna Society, Finnish Sauna Society, Polish Sauna Society, German Sauna Association, Norwegian Sauna Society, Danish Sauna Association, Finnish Embassy in Poland, North American Sauna Society, Swedish Sauna Academy, New Zealand Sauna Society, The Australian Sweat Bathing Association, Finnland-Institut Berlin, Austrian Sauna Society, and the Czech Sauna Association. (More organizations to follow.)
As well as providing Sauna Aid, the ISA is offering Ukrainian and Russian officials a suitable location and sauna to meet and work out a peaceful settlement. Sauna diplomacy was used famously during the Cold War when Finnish President Kekkonen hosted Soviet and Western leaders to a secret sauna just outside Helsinki to sweat and discuss the future of the world while comforted by the relaxing heat and steam of the sauna.
Give to Sauna Aid today
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Volunteer your help
If you to like to contribute to Sauna Aid, please fill out the form below