October is here, and that means the changing of the leaves, the shortening of the days, and of course, the celebrations of International Day of the Girl. The scene was joyous earlier this week at our campus in Rwanda: we had film screenings, we had panel discussions, we had guests join us from girls’ schools all across the nation…IDG has always been beautiful at SOLA, and this year was no different.
And now, with IDG a happy memory, we have extraordinary news to share:
A generous donor is matching every donation we receive through October 31, up to $200,000.
SOLA's $200K matching challenge is on, and we invite you to join us. Thank you for being here, and thank you for believing in the future our girls will create.
Summer arrives, and admissions season at SOLA is in full swing.
It was on February 25th – six months to the day after arriving in Rwanda – that we announced the opening of the 2022 academic admissions season. Our intent is to recruit Afghan girls currently dispersed worldwide in refugee communities and bring them to Rwanda where, this autumn, they will begin their academic careers at SOLA.
As of this writing, we've received more than 100 applications from Afghan girls in 7 countries. We will be collecting applications throughout the summer and hope to send the first offer letters to the newest class of SOLA students in July.
Your continued support of our girls and our mission means so much. We are profoundly grateful that you're with us, at this landmark moment in the history of our school.
We start this update with the words of our co-founder, Shabana Basij-Rasikh: "Six months ago, the Taliban entered Kabul. From that day to this moment, they've blocked millions of Afghan girls from their educations. I've never looked away. Our SOLA students haven't either."
SOLA, as you'll see in the images Shabana shared on Twitter, is thriving in Rwanda, and your continued support of our girls and our mission means so much. We are profoundly grateful that you're with us, and as 2022 evolves and a new school year approaches, we hope that you will join us in keeping our eyes on those millions of Afghan girls for whom education remains only a dream. We will not look away.
Our students are approaching two full months since the resumption of classes at our campus in Rwanda. They are thriving in this time of transition and hope, and as they do, we are presented with an extraordinary opportunity:
A generous donor is matching every dollar we raise through October 28, up to $100,000.
This is SOLA's $100K challenge. Ambitious, and attainable.
We hope you'll join us in these remarkable days, as SOLA's message reaches a wider audience than ever. Our president, Shabana Basij-Rasikh, was named a contributing columnist to the Global Opinion page of The Washington Post in September; since then, she has penned four columns discussing the changes that have come to Afghanistan -- and affirming our commitment to the world our students will create.
With an unblinking eye on security and our community's health, we move confidently into an uncertain summer and toward a brave future.
We are inspired by the words of one of our students: "I will use my education to teach other girls how to be brave, and that they are very important in society. Today, I am here, I am brave, tomorrow another girl will be here and she will be brave like me."
She's right. As you read these words, our students are preparing for their midterms and the end of the first semester of the school year -- and as they do, we are laying the groundwork for the 2022 admissions season. 2022 will be a monumental year in our history: it will be the year when our first class of 12th graders graduates SOLA.
We are so honored to have you with us, today and tomorrow, as our girls create the future.
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