Enhancing Children’s Lives Organization (ECLO) established the first women’s library and social café in the province of Mazar, Afghanistan. The library, which is called, Afghan Girls Roaring Louder Than A Lion, strives to empower the next generation of Afghan girls to find their voice through literacy practices and to stand up against discriminatory decrees of Islamic militants and stand up for their rights, justice, and equality.
The library has thousands of books, with a mixture of collections, and hosts special literacy programs for special needs girls. The library provides empowering books like I Am Malala, a book that shares the story of a heroic woman fighting for her right to an education. Just like the story of Malala, they provide collections that shed a light on the stories of other young girls that were able to break the glass ceilings and roar for their freedoms in oppressive societies.
In addition to providing books, they have a specialty program aimed toward raising literacy of young woman. Over the past two years, it has thought over 6,000 young girls how to read and write. They also provide roundtable sessions where girls discuss their readings with their peers and chat about women empowerment.
Through this library, Axana Soltan’s mission extends the literacy rate of children. She wants to start her quest for raising literacy of woman from the world’s most illiterate country in the world—which is Afghanistan. Within the United States, she is establishing libraries in Juvenile Detention Facilities for youth in custody across Virginia.
To initiate Afghan Girls Roaring Louder Than A Lion in Afghanistan, Axana Soltan reached out to the Governor in Mazar-e-Shariff, Afghanistan as well as to the Deputy Minister of Education. She presented her proposal, which was aimed toward improving the literacy rate of Afghan girls in Afghanistan on a national level. The proposal was successfully passed by the Deputy Minister of Education and this has led her organization, Enhancing Children’s Lives (ECL) to establish the first public library for girls in Mazar-e-Shariff, Afghanistan in 2016.
At the age of 15, Axana Soltan became the CEO and Founder of Enhancing Children’s Lives Organization (ECLO), an organization dedicated to securing education of children around the world. Through ECL, she has mobilized an army of 100 hundred youth from Haiti, Afghanistan, Kuwait, India, Pakistan and United States to assist in her fight to secure the education of street children in underdeveloped countries that cannot pay for school.
From 2006-2017, she has been collectively securing the schooling of 1,700 children and youth in Afghanistan and Haiti by paying their school fees through nationwide of fundraisers. Furthermore, she has been actively providing these children as well as disadvantaged children in the United States with thousands of backpacks filled with school supplies, hundreds of shoes, clothing and even food since 2006.
Axana speaks for the many unheard voices as a refugee and as a woman. As a humanitarian and an activist, she is ready to fight for refugee crises, gender equality, education, poverty, literacy, women’s issues with grace and courage.
Axana’s Website: axanasoltan.com
Axana’s Humanitarian Efforts: enhancingchildrenslives.com