On Saturday, December 16, the Zabuli Education Center held its third graduation ceremony! A firsthand account from Malak Yusuf, Program Director:Razia Jan, Nahid, Zia, Zubair, Razia the principal, the teachers at the Zabuli Education Center, many current students, and the whole school staff worked so hard and diligently to help make the graduation a huge success. I was very impressed and proud of the entire event. Eighteen intelligent and dedicated 12th grade students graduated. This year's graduation also marked new beginnings and traditions that were so beautiful and heart-warming to witness.
As the third consecutive Zabuli Education Center graduation, this year saw more female than male family and community members present to support the girls' graduation and education. More mothers, aunts, sisters, all so proud of the women in their families, were here today. Men who were present included Deh'Subz village elders, students' fathers, grandfathers, uncles, brothers, and husbands.Among the graduates, 3 students are married, 2 are pregnant, and 1 student just had a baby. Meanwhile, 12 engaged girls are currently enrolled at the Zabuli Education Center. I mention these numbers because culturally in Afghanistan, it is not common at all (and oftentimes forbidden) for students who are engaged, married, or have children to attend school. The Zabuli Education Center is setting a prime example that more Afghan girls and women are gaining a valuable education and career path with the support of their families and community.
Ahead of graduation, Nahid and Razia Jan bless dates to distribute to all Zabuli Education Center students and staff for well wishes for end of the school year and a sweet beginning for the next.Razia Jan lead the opening remarks. Her speech was powerful. She thanked the community, and particularly the village elders, for their continued support and care for the Zabuli Education Center over the past year, yet beckoned them to continue this support for years to come. "Without your daily support," Razia said, "the [Zabuli Education Center] would not be the wonderful school, and safe haven for Afghan girls, that it is today."
Zabuli Education Center school staff and family of graduates in attendance.
Three former Zabuli Education Center graduates who are now attending the American University of Afghanistan were present for the graduation ceremony.
A first in the history of the Zabuli Education Center!
Caps off in the snow!