In Afghanistan, girls cannot attend school. But a group of Afghan girls are in school in Kigali, Rwanda. The School of Leadership Afghanistan was started by Shabana Basij-Rasikh, who was educated in secret the first time the Taliban ruled Afghanistan, and began creating SOLA during a year of high school in the US after the 2001 US invasion. In 2016, SOLA became a full-fledged 6-12 grade girls boarding school and at the start of 2021, construction was underway on a new campus with a record number of students applying from all over the country. The 256 students, teachers, staff and staff families of SOLA had to make a sudden, dangerous escape from Kabul. “We cannot under any circumstances submit to Taliban's vision for Afghanistan,” Shabana says. For her, that means continuing to educate Afghan girls, and she is recruiting them from Afghan refugee communities and camps around the world,.

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