Sahar Education

A nonprofit organization

$6,464 raised by 32 donors

29% complete

$22,000 Goal


Sahar partners with grassroots, Afghan-based organizations to provide access to educational programs for girls in Afghanistan. Our mission is to empower and inspire children and their families to build peaceful, thriving communities. After the Taliban banned formal education for girls above 6th grade, Sahar is finding innovative ways to promote girls’ access to education in Afghanistan. It is now more important than ever to show up for girls’ education in Afghanistan in any capacity possible.


Founded in 2009 by Julia Bolz, Sahar Education emerged from the vision of an international humanitarian lawyer and advocate driven by a profound connection to the Afghan people, particularly women, and girls, in the aftermath of 9/11. Initially named Ayni Education International, Sahar embarked on a mission encapsulated by the "Journey with an Afghan School" project, aimed at fostering understanding and creating educational opportunities between Afghan and American communities.

Headquartered in Seattle, WA, Sahar Education's achievements in Afghanistan's educational sector are notable. With over 40 schools built, repaired, and equipped, Sahar has illuminated the lives of more than 250,000 students, collaborating with local and international entities to enhance its capabilities in providing aid, expertise, and sustainable solutions in development, legal, and human rights issues.

Before the Taliban's recent educational bans, the number of women in higher education had increased almost 20 times between 2001 and 2018. With the suspension of university education for women in December 2022, over 100,000 female students attending government and private higher education institutions were affected. (UNESCO, 2023)

The Taliban's resurgence in 2021 prompted Sahar to adapt its strategies, focusing on clandestine educational support through underground schools, literacy and sewing programs, and empowerment/advocacy initiatives tailored for the Kabul and Mazar-i-Sharif communities. This strategic pivot reflects Sahar's commitment to education and empowerment despite adversity.

Since September 2021, the return to school for all Afghan girls over the age of 12 has been indefinitely postponed, leaving 1.1 million girls and young women without access to formal education. Currently, 80% of school-aged Afghan girls and young women—2.5 million people—are out of school. (UNESCO, 2023)

Program Highlights

Stealth Sisters: Launched in July 2022, this program caters to 20 girls per 6-month course, offering education to those whose learning was halted by the Taliban's educational bans. Focusing on English and computer skills, alongside a curriculum addressing gender roles, health, and wellness, Stealth Sisters equips participants for future employment, further education, or entrepreneurial ventures. This program serves as a beacon of hope, preparing its participants for a brighter future despite prevailing challenges.

Underground TechSheroes: Beginning in April 2023, this initiative bridges the digital divide for Afghan women and girls aged 14 to 25 by providing basic to advanced coding skills through secret, home-based classes. Covering computer basics, MS Office, and website building, TechSheroes empowers participants to join the digital economy, fostering digital empowerment and enhancing their rights and societal roles.

Threads of Hope: Initiated in November 2023, Threads of Hope targets economically disadvantaged women aged 18-40, offering literacy and sewing skills to those deprived of formal education. Graduates receive a sewing machine, enabling them to start home-based businesses and contribute to their families' financial stability, promoting community resilience and empowerment.

Men as Partners in Change: Reintroduced in October 2023, this program educates high school boys on fostering healthy, thriving communities, covering fatherhood, caregiving, mental and physical health, and promoting women's rights. It challenges gender perceptions and advocates for gender equality, recognizing the importance of involving men in gender development discourse.

Sahar Education's comprehensive approach, through these programs, addresses the educational and empowerment needs of Afghan women, girls, and boys, reflecting a strategic response to the restrictive environment imposed by the Taliban. Recognized as the Afghan Women & Girl's Education NPO of the Year 2023, Sahar's work is critically important in the context of the severe impact of the Taliban's decrees on women's and girls' rights and freedoms. 


Sahar Board of Directors
Women Strong International
The Janet W. Ketcham Foundation
The International Foundation

Giving Activity

Organization Data


Organization name

Sahar Education

Tax id (EIN)





Youth & Children, Low-Income, Immigrants & Refugees


PO Box 17672
Seattle, WA 98127-1301

Service areas