A pioneering not-for-profit school to provide life-changing education for girls in Afghanistan has been given honorary membership of the UK-based Boarding Schools' Association (BSA) and has received offers of scholarship opportunities for pupils from leading UK boarding schools.
The School of Leadership in Afghanistan (SOLA) in Kabul was set up by education campaigner Shabana Basij-Rasikh and has around 38 boarding students.
Now the BSA has made SOLA an honorary member in recognition of its ground-breaking work in a country where it is notoriously hard for girls to receive an education. SOLA will now be able to access the same services as BSA's 500 UK members, including advice, consultancy and training for boarding staff.
Shabana Basij-Rasikh described joining the BSA as 'an honour' for SOLA and said she looked forward to forging close links with UK boarding schools.
BSA National Director Robin Fletcher said:
"What Shabana Basij-Rasikh has done in creating a boarding school for girls in Afghanistan is amazing and incredibly brave.
"We are delighted to welcome SOLA as an honorary member of BSA and look forward to supporting its work in any way we can."
Shabana was BSA Chair and Head of Tudor Hall, Wendy Griffith’s, guest of honour at the BSA Annual Conference for Heads Dinner last week. The SOLA founder gave an emotional speech to over 200 guests about her own struggles to gain an education during the Taliban’s reign in Kabul.
As a result of her speech a great number of the boarding schools in attendance offered support and scholarship opportunities for SOLA students to study here in the UK.
SOLA President and founder, Shabana Basij-Rasikh, said:
“It was an extraordinary opportunity to attend the BSA conference meet some very impressive educators.
“I am immensely proud of being an honorary member of the BSA. I would like to thank all the schools who offered support and scholarship opportunities for SOLA pupils - the generosity and kindness are hugely appreciated.”
Shabana also took part in a 23m charity abseil at the BSA conference which was organised to raise funds for SpringBoard – a foundation charity which transforms the lives of disadvantaged children through full bursaries at state and independent boarding schools.