Dear SOLA friends,
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.
Dear SOLA friends,
Longer days and warmer weather are the signs of the coming of spring and, in Afghanistan, the arrival of the new school year -- and although the seasons are changing, the challenges we faced in 2020 remain.
We met these challenges last year, and we overcame them. This year, we will do so again.
Our robust remote learning model, which we implemented last summer in response to COVID, will be in place and ready for both students and teachers on the first day of school. This model maximizes student safety while minimizing health risks, and while details must necessarily remain vague, we are confident that it will enable us to deliver an educational experience that is unparalleled in Afghanistan.
The word "sola," in the Pashto language, means "peace." This word is our mission, this word is our goal -- and in 2021, as we become a home for Afghan girls in grades 6-11, this word is more meaningful than ever.
We wish you health, and sola, throughout the coming of spring.
Dear SOLA friends,
October is always a time of celebration at SOLA – even in a year marked by COVID.
That’s because October means International Day of the Girl, and for our Day of the Girl celebrations this year, we put a creative challenge before our students by asking them this: This year's IDG theme is "My voice, our equal future." Today, young people worldwide are connecting across time zones and cultures. What do you want to tell the world about Afghan girls? What changes are you seeing because of the work that you, or other young people, are doing?
We’re proud to share their responses, in words and in art.
In the images below, you’ll see girls moving from darkness into a colorful future. You’ll see a young woman’s face in a fruitful tree. You’ll see a girl who, in the artist’s words, is surrounded by “squares that show the strength of her mind, and a galaxy that is the huge level of her thought” – and you’ll see the artist, too.
You’ll see all this, you’ll read the words our students wrote, and we hope it inspires you the way it has us.
We are entering the final days of our October matching challenge: every dollar raised through October 31 is being matched up to $7,500. We hope you'll join us as we move boldly through this year like none other.
For all you've done and for all you will do: thank you, from all of us at SOLA.
Dear SOLA friends --
Six months have passed and six months remain in 2020 -- the coming of July marks the halfway point of a year like none other.
As our co-founder and president Shabana Basij-Rasikh has said: "We aren't going to get back to normal. None of us are. Instead, we must choose to go forward towards normal." These words mark our path across the next weeks and months.
As some of you know, SOLA's school year, like many schools in Afghanistan, runs from March-December, and we have been actively transitioning to a fully virtual classroom experience. School is in session, and students are receiving assignments and communicating with their teachers from the safety of their homes.
The word "sola," in the Pashto language, means "peace." This word is our mission, this word is our goal -- and in 2020, this word is more meaningful than ever.
We wish you health, and sola, throughout this very different kind of summer.
Dear SOLA friends,
March means spring and new beginnings -- and for all of us at SOLA, this spring ushers in a year that will be like none other.
As you're no doubt aware, the final day of February saw the signing of an agreement between the Taliban and the United States that is expected to, among other things, lead to a drawdown of American military forces and the start of talks between the Taliban and the Afghan government.
To this news, I'd like to add a single number:
That’s the number of applications we've received for this year’s incoming 6th grade class – and they’re the most we’ve ever received.
The desire in Afghanistan to let girls learn is one that will not go away. It grows, year to year, like our pool of applicants, like SOLA itself. We’re in the final stages of admissions as you read this, and we'll be celebrating the first day of school this month. We’ll be a school of grades 6-10, and this will be the first 10th grade class in our history.
2020 will be a year of uncertainties – and of certainties. You’ve just read about some of both.
Here's to a peaceful school year ahead.
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