SOLO was founded, as the Sudan Open Learning Unit, in Gedaref, eastern Sudan in 1984, in association with the UK-based International Extension College (IEC). It became, in 1997, a fully independent NGO, the Sudan Open Learning Organisation, with headquarters in Khartoum, and a field office in Gedaref. It remains the only NGO in Sudan focused on delivering training using distance, open and non-formal methods. Its headquarters remain in Khartoum, with field offices in Kassala (eastern Sudan), Kadugli (Nuba Mountains) and Rub-kona (Unity State in the south). SOLO is registered with the Sudan Humanitarian Aid Commission (HAC) as a charity.
Since its inception SOLO has provided training in all 26 States of Sudan involving 150,000 beneficiaries. Over 7000 people are currently enlisted in SOLO training and community development programmes.
In Recognition of Education as being the key to development, the Sudan Open Learning Organization is committed to the provision of high quality open, distance and non-formal educational opportunities for those disadvantaged people who have been deprived of the access to learn for political, social and economic reasons. SOLO is committed to linking this educational provision with integrated development opportunities for these people and their communities.
SOLO will work in the areas of leadership, advocacy and research for distance and open learning; and will promote a high level of participation by, and contribution from, the beneficiaries in the design and provision of ODL.
For best serving the refugees, displaced and disadvantaged citizens in Sudan SOLO is designated to:
• Design, implement and monitor non-formal, formal and vocational education programmes meeting the needs of the targeted populations.
• Advocate for (DOL) to bring to its delivery other long and well established education institutions in Sudan.
• Adapt its courses to newly identified needs and create the required mechanisms for proper implementation particularly in the non-formal and vocational domains.
• Feed its human resources through the hiring of qualified part-timers particularly from health and education.
• Call in local, regional and international expertise to update its work and staff training.
• Create and maintain working relations with relevant entities regionally and internationally.
• Use affordable technology as and when appropriate.