Summia Tora is the founder of Dosti Network, an organisation focused on providing Afghans access to resources and information to flee persecution and access global support networks. In August 2020 after the fall of the Afghan government, the Dosti Network launched a global effort to connect Afghans fleeing persecution with resources to resettle in a safe country and for those staying in Afghanistan to access needed resources – especially education for girls.
Prior to August 2020, Dosti was active in both Afghanistan and Pakistan, most recently launching a program to destigmatise menstruation by educating girls about menstrual hygiene and teaching them to make reusable pads. The efforts focused on connecting girls virtually across borders to empower them to work collaboratively on peacebuilding within their communities. Through its efforts, the Dosti Network has reached more than 600 young women in both Afghanistan and Pakistan. She grew up as an Afghan refugee in Pakistan and has advocated and worked on refugee resettlement in the United States, Pakistan, and Greece. Summia’s inspiring journey has been featured in the NYTimes, BBC World, the Economist, and NPR.
As a social entrepreneur and activist, Summia has experience working with the World Bank, United Nations University, Schmidt Futures, and several NGOs on issues related to girls’ education, refugee support, and improving humanitarian aid access. In 2020, she was elected as the first Rhodes scholar from Afghanistan and most recently completed a Master’s of Public Policy at the Blavatnik School of Government. She is currently pursuing a Master’s in International Human Rights Law at the University of Oxford and helping Afghan families reach safety through Dosti Network. As a visiting scholar at the Ethics Law and Armed Conflict, her work will focus on expanding Dosti Network and providing support to vulnerable Afghans.