School of Leadership Afghanistan (SOLA)

UNICEF Winner
SOLA, the first boarding school for girls in Afghanistan, pairs its comprehensive curriculum with national education improvement programs. SOLA students supplement basic subjects with leadership training, civic engagement, and skills-based classes that prepare them to excel at institutions of higher education.
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Year launched: 
2008
Launch country: 

CEI Plus Status

Program Results Status
Monitoring and Evaluation Reporting

Location Data

State/Province: 
Balkh, Bamyan, Dai Kundi, Faryab, Ghazni, Helmand, Herat, Kabul, Kandahar, Kunar, Kunduz, Laghman, Nangarhar and Parwan
Geography type: 
Additional country(ies) of operation: 
Program Description: 
The School of Leadership, Afghanistan (SOLA) is an Afghan-run and U.S. registered non-profit dedicated to expanding educational and leadership opportunities for a new generation of Afghan women. As the first boarding school for girls in Afghanistan, SOLA enrolls middle- and high-school-age girls in a rigorous, comprehensive curriculum stressing civic leadership skills, English literacy, and cultural self-awareness. SOLA recognizes the limitations of secondary and post-secondary educational opportunities amidst a still-violent Kabul, so its current model aims to place students in quality secondary, college and university, and post-graduate schools around the world to obtain a high-quality education before they return to Afghanistan to begin careers as civic leaders. The SOLA model spans three chronological and goal-oriented stages:
 
"SOLA Kabul": 
SOLA students attend classes on English literacy, numeracy, global affairs, and exam preparation. They are expected to take part in empowering extracurricular cultural and life skills programming such as drivers' education, historical research, and social justice projects in the community. SOLA students connect with faculty and e-tutors based around the world for homework help and globalized perspectives on their course materials. 
 
"SOLA Abroad": 
Abroad, over 30 SOLA scholars attend selective boarding schools, colleges and graduate programs, while growing numbers of alumnae are returning with college degrees to contribute to rebuilding Afghanistan. SOLA continues to support students academically, financially, and personally from middle school through to post-baccalaureate programs. Students are matched with host families and convene regularly for conferences, speaking engagements, and career/continued education development. 
 
"SOLA Returns": 
SOLA is gearing up to help students with college and graduate degrees assume leadership roles across public, private and civil sectors on their return to Afghanistan. Alumni currently work at Afghan NGOs, corporations, and governmental ministries. 
 
SOLA’s mission relies on the maxim: “Educate a boy, you educate an individual; educate a girl, and you educate her family, her community, and her countrymen.”