Afghan All-Girls School Founder Reports Students, Staff, and Family Escaped, Relocated to Rwanda

The co-founder and president of Afghanistan’s only girls’ boarding school said Tuesday that dozens of students and staff have relocated to Rwanda.

Shabana Basij-Rasikh with the School of Leadership, Afghanistan (SOLA), said in a social media post, “Last week, we completed the departure from Kabul of nearly 250 students, faculty, staff, and family members.

“Everyone is en route, by way of Qatar, to the nation of Rwanda where we intend to begin a semester abroad for our entire student body,” Basij-Rasikh stated in a series of tweets. 

Basij-Rasikh also thanked the governments of Qatar, Rwanda, and the U.S. for assisting the girls escape.

“My heart breaks for my country,” she added. “I’ve stood in Kabul, and I’ve seen the fear, and the anger, and the ferocious bravery of the Afghan people. I look at my students, and I see the faces of the millions of Afghan girls, just like them, who remain behind.”

Her posts were shared just days after she reported burning students’ records “not to erase them, but to protect them and their families.”

Voice of America News reports that the central African nation has agreed to temporarily host evacuated Afghans however it is unknown how many refugees Rwanda will accept. 

Basij-Rasikh was born and raised in Kabul and finished high school in the U.S. through the State Department’s Youth Exchange Studies program, according to the school’s website. After graduation, she enrolled at Middlebury College in Vermont and earned a degree in International Studies and Women & Gender Studies.

She co-founded SOLA in 2008 with the mission of providing access to quality education for girls across her homeland.

Please continue to pray for all those trapped in Afghanistan seeking to get out of harm’s way.

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