Learning from others


SOLA2





Photograph courtesy of SOLA.  http://www.sola-afghanistan.org


I BELIEVE that all the most successful people learn from others. They seek truth everywhere. If you want to reach a high place in life, you have to learn from other people.  If I don’t agree with someone, I ask them, “Why do you think this way?”  At first, I think they are wrong.  But if I ask them the reason for their ideas then, maybe, I will understand them.  You don’t have to agree, but you don’t have to be afraid of other people’s ideas.

     This is why I believe SOLA is such an important school in Afghanistan. Here we have students from all regions in Afghanistan. We are together in friendship and unity—and to help each other. We show that it is possible for different people to live together in unity.  We live all together at our school and so we need each other to succeed.  Our best results depend on how well we work together.  For example.  We take turns cooking our meals.  When we’re cooking, three or four people are helping each other.  The more we work together, the better we cook!   

     Five or six people share a room. When you first come, you’re a little scared. At first I thought I was always right, but then I started to listen to the ideas of others and I thought, “They’re right!  They’re good people with good ideas.” At night we sit and talk and joke.  I love this time!  And when we have to change rooms, I’m so sad.  

     An important part of our school is our evening assembly. First we repeat our pledge together: We all are Afghan. We love Afghanistan. We will try our best and work hard to improve our beautiful country. After this we share inspiring quotes with each other that we found that day and then we share daily news stories.  Finally, we sing a hymn about God. It is 99 names and qualities for God.  For example: Kind, Creator, the One to give thanks to. Then we say the pledge again and sing our national anthem.  

     We have lots of rules at SOLA!  They all are about respecting each other.  For example:

• We are not allowed to talk badly with each other and we are forbidden to make fun of other people.

• We must be honest with our self and with others.

• If we have a problem we must sit and talk kindly with each other until we solve the problem.

• We must help each other and be willing to work hard. 

     There are also study rules:

• We cannot speak in our native language.  We must speak English.

• We can’t use sites like Facebook or YouTube because they are wasting our precious time here. We came here to study. We use the internet to study and to have Skype classes with teachers in other countries.

• If we don’t go to class or if we don’t do our homework, there are consequences. For example: we have to cook the meals, clean the windows, or clean the halls or the basement. 

     SOLA is an important place for girls in Afghanistan. When we come, we don’t have the courage to talk and are afraid to learn.  SOLA encourages us to speak and to be our self.  It is teaching us to be future leaders and honest leaders.  SOLA means so much to me! But what I love most is being together.  I hope that all girls can one day can study without fear.

Susan

………………..Susan is 16 and has been at SOLA a little more than a year. Her native language is Dari. Her dream is to become a journalist.  

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 ©InterestEng. July 2013  §  The stories in the magazine portion of the site are written by English language learners. Stories are corrected by a native English speaker.  § Photos are staff or used with permission.  §  To contact us:  go.gently.on@gmail.com