West Cascade Peace Corps Association
About Us

Projects - School of Leadership - Afghanistan

Name of ProjectSchool of Leadership - Afghanistan
Description of Project

In August of 2011, WCPCA made a $500 grant to School of Leadership – Afghanistan (SOLA) in memory of Artis Mary Spriggs.

Artis served in the Peace Corps in Afghanistan from 1967-1969 with 20 other women as a vaccinator for smallpox. One of the other women in that vaccination group was Beryl Brinkman, one of the founders of WCPCA. Funding for the donation came from the Beryl Brinkman Memorial Fund. Their work contributed to the eventual eradication of that devastating disease. Artis’ career choices and world travels formed a vision of social justice and her generosity funded charities to support schools, self-reliance and opportunity for all.

Artis lived in Ukiah/Redwood Valley, CA for most of her adult life, but moved to Eugene, OR in 2006 where she was an active member of the West Cascade Returned Peace Corps Association, and volunteered at the Hult Center and University of Oregon Natural History Museum. Intrepid traveler, singer of songs, Scrabble player, generous benefactor, and devoted friend embarked on her last journey July 6, 2010 in Eugene, OR.

SOLA means “peace” in Pashto, and it is a non-profit NGO established in 2008 to prepare the very best Afghan students for study in the U.S. and abroad so that they may return home to become future leaders of Afghanistan. SOLA places special emphasis on creating the conditions for ambitious young women to pursue their studies. It provides a dorm free of charge as well as transportation. Ongoing supporters focused on creating peace and understanding across cultures include Orchard Park Schools Educational Outreach in NY, Friends of Afghanistan (300 returned Afghan Peace Corps volunteers), and the Afghan Women’s Writing Project and Masha Hamilton. Classes are held at SOLA—Kabul in English language and math. Discussion groups and seminars are part of an ongoing effort to improve verbal and written communication skills. SOLA’s in-house instructors include Afghan experts as well as visiting scholars from the U.S. and Canada. In addition, well-known American writers teach an online writing course. High school math is being taught in partnership with St. George’s and St. Paul's schools in the United States.

WCPCA Contribution to Project$500
Date of ContributionAugust 2011