Razia's Ray of Hope


Sharing in sadness

February 14, 2020: Our school community has suffered an enormous loss. Anita, a 17-year-old rising senior, passed away this week after complications related to stroke. We can’t express how much this hurts.

Anita joined our school in 2012 as a fifth grader. She was an excellent student. After suffering a stroke last year, she recovered enough to return to school. Razia Jan was at the Zabuli Education Center last November during our final exam period. It came to Razia’s attention that Anita was struggling to complete her exams: Her fine motor-control had been limited by the stroke, and writing was a challenge. After reassuring Anita, Razia arranged for each of Anita’s teachers to administer her exams orally and write her responses. In this way, Anita was able to complete her exams successfully.

Razia was worried about Anita, however, as were many in our community. The cold winter temperatures were particularly hard for Anita to manage and she was always cold. Razia procured socks, pants, and knee-length sweaters to help Anita stay warm. But Anita’s health continued to deteriorate, and ultimately her struggle ended.

It is difficult for Razia to talk about this loss. “She was going to be in 12th grade,” Razia says. “We have 21 girls who are going to graduate this year. But Anita isn’t going to be one of them. I can’t really imagine it. I can’t.”

We extend our love and condolences to Anita’s grieving family, the community, and everyone at the Zabuli Education Center. This is also a painful loss for Anita’s sponsor family.

The entire immediate village—about 1,000 people—attended Anita’s burial. May she rest in peace.



A Model of Empowerment



Look what global citizens like you have helped accomplish!

  • Educating more than 1,000 girls in kindergarten through post-secondary training.
  • Enabling our graduates to support their families, creating positive economic and social impact in their community as teachers, midwives, and shop owners.
  • Certifying midwives who are now improving health outcomes in the community of Deh’Subz and beyond.
  • Helping Afghan families realize the importance of education. We now have a three-year waiting list for kindergarten!



Razia’s Ray of Hope Foundation provides girls young and women in Afghanistan with free, award-winning K-12 schooling and post-secondary programs. Our model of transformative, community-based education incubates strong leaders, builds career pathways, and creates peaceful cultural change within an educational cycle that impacts present and future generations.

Founder and president Razia Jan, humanitarian and CNN Top 10 Hero, has worked for decades to build connections between Afghans and Americans while improving the lives of girls and young women in Afghanistan through education and opportunity.


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