Located high on the tibetan plateau just west of the disputed border with China and with an average elevation exceeding 4500 meters (14800 ft) lay the sparsely populated eastern parts of Ladakh, India.
For three months out of the year, when temperatures drop well below -20°C (-4°F) and it is too cold to keep the schools open, natural ponds and communal, hand-made rinks dot the arid landscape.
It is on these rinks children and youth from all over the region come together to fulfill their need for recreation and camaraderie, giving them a counterbalance to the high demands of school and household duties while building self-confidence and developing a strong sense of community.
Through the support of HELP Inc Fund, a North American NGO who works with marginalized people in the western Himalayas, ice-hockey has become available to more than a lucky few in the administrative capital city of Leh. Every year their winter camps introduce the joy of ice-hockey to hundreds of children in remote villages throughout Ladakh.
HELP Inc Fund/VICE.com