Grant awarded to School of Leadership Afghanistan, Inc (SOLA)

SOLA has been awarded a $25,000 grant in support of their Residential Life Program.
SOLA is an Afghan-led private boarding school for Afghan girls, the
first of its kind in Afghanistan. SOLA’s mission is to provide Afghan girls a rigorous education that promotes
critical thinking, a sense of purpose, and respect for self and others.
SOLA, which is a Pashto word meaning “peace,” seeks to represent all major ethnic groups and provinces of
Afghanistan. To date SOLA students have hailed from 22 of Afghanistan’s provinces.

In Afghanistan, girls are not prepared to become leaders and their education is rarely
prioritized. Even girls who are fortunate enough to attend school often must shoulder family responsibilities,
distracting from their education as they mature. The funds from this grant will be dedicated to the
residential life program and will be used to increase opportunities for students to explore interests, engage
with educators and academic resources, and participate in sports and fitness activities. These types of
programs do not exist in public schools in Afghanistan–the residential life programming at SOLA is one of
the major ways that the school differs from all others in Afghanistan.
As a boarding school, SOLA creates an immersive, structured academic environment in Kabul for Afghan
girls from cultural backgrounds and provinces across the country.

The residential life program is a critical element of what makes SOLA a leadership school. The leadership
curriculum bridges the academic and residential life programs, providing a vehicle to integrate the formal
curriculum of subject-specific knowledge and core skills, with the informal curriculum, where students learn
values and behaviors in an inexplicit way through participating in a residential community.
Many of the students are the first girls in their families to receive an education. Through the residential life
program at SOLA, each of our students has the opportunity, many for the first time in their lives:
• to be tutored one-on-one in English and other subjects;
• to participate in student clubs with their peers;
• to learn about the benefits of physical fitness and engage in sports and outdoor activities;
• to explore geopolitical issues through intimate conversations with visiting experts;
• to grow-up with a diverse community of girls from across Afghanistan, representing many distinct
cultural backgrounds;
• to immerse themselves in English-language instruction, among many other opportunities.

SOLA students will in turn share what they have learned with their families and their home communities
across the country. They will grow up appreciating the role SOLA’s immersive residential life program played
in their personal development, and their example in society will help to spur favor towards SOLA’s education
model for girls in communities across Afghanistan.