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Sauna Aid calls on industry to help fund lakeside sauna complex in Ukraine

Sauna Aid is seeking industry donations to establish a sauna and bathing complex in Ukraine
The €100,000 lakeside facility on Nebo Beach near Kharkiv will feature extensive amenities
Sauna Aid's wider mission has already garnered international support, including donations from Therme Group
The organisation is accepting monetary donations and equipment as well as recruiting volunteers to help staff its saunas
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The International Sauna Association's (ISA) Sauna Aid initiative is asking for donations to establish a sauna complex in Ukraine to provide a sanctuary for Ukrainians amid the conflict with Russia.

The organisation wants to realise the €100,000 (US$109,000, £86,000) lakeside facility on Nebo Beach – just outside the city of Kharkiv.

Plans for the facility include a large wood-burning sauna, a shared shower area, a spacious lounge with hay beds, benches, gathering spaces, an outdoor terrace with two hot tubs, sun loungers, changing rooms, restrooms and a reception area.

“The Kharkiv Public Sauna Complex Project is Sauna Aid's most ambitious project yet,” said Mikkel Aaland, Sauna Aid project lead and co-founder, speaking to Spa Business.

“Our architect, Wendy Liu (also a British Sauna Society member) worked from a set of specifications presented by the Kharkiv community to come up with the design.”

Aaland emphasised that while Ukraine is the current focus, Sauna Aid's mandate extends globally as a long-term initiative of the ISA.

Launched in 2022 in response to the outbreak of war in Ukraine, Sauna Aid's goal is to provide movable sauna facilities and supportive services to offer relief to people in times of crisis, both natural and man-made.

Its mission transcends borders, demonstrating how the seemingly simple act of sauna bathing can serve as a powerful tool for solace and assistance during turbulent times.

Global support

Sauna Aid’s previous work has already caught the attention of the spa and wellness industry, resulting in generous donations from a handful of global organisations, including wellbeing and thermal resort operator Therme Group.

Therme donated a sauna which has been installed at a local sports stadium in Staryi Sambir, a small town in western Ukraine.

Sauna Aid has also recently created three new saunas in various parts of Kharkiv, one of which was financed by donations from the Japanese Sauna Association.

Another sauna unit – funded by the Bath House of London – was transported from Lithuania to Ukraine’s severely affected Kherson region, the hometown of Alex Lazarev, founder and director of the Bath House.

Sauna equipment suppliers Harvia Sauna and Narvi have also donated products including wood-burning stoves and water heaters.

Sauna Aid has additionally forged a partnership with the Estonian group Saunas4Ukraine and is appealing to Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy to make a formal request to the Estonian and Finnish governments for a fleet of movable saunas and hygiene units.

In other news, Sauna Aid – in cooperation with the Lithuanian Bath Academy – has created and distributed a free healing toolkit for bathmasters to help approach and support sauna bathers suffering with trauma and loss.

Get involvedSauna Aid is accepting monetary donations and equipment as well as recruiting volunteers to help staff its saunas.

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

About the ISA

The 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.

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Sauna Aid is a new multi-country initiative, sponsored by the International Sauna Association (ISA), providing ...
The International Sauna Association's (ISA) Sauna Aid initiative is asking for donations to establish a sauna complex in Ukraine to provide a sanctuary for Ukrainians amid the conflict with Russia.
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