As many organizations have learned the hard way, a school will not last long without the community’s support: a 2009 study by CARE found that schools built by NGOs with community participation are much less vulnerable to attack.
Our founder, Afghan native Razia Jan, worked tirelessly to gain the community’s acceptance. Although villagers initially rejected the idea of a school for girls, today Razia is hailed by village elders—with whom she meets on a monthly basis—as the “Mother of Deh’Subz.” Families have even begun moving to Deh’Subz just to attend the Zabuli Education Center.
The Zabuli Education Center is located 30 miles outside of Kabul in the district of Deh’Subz. This district is comprised of several villages, with a total of approximately 100,000 residents including a large number of nomadic families.
The name Deh'Subz translates to “Green City,” an apt name for a mountainous area vibrant with grape vineyards and apricot, peach, and almond orchards. Agriculture is the most important source of income in Deh’Subz. (The road leading to Kabul city is rough and unpaved; only 2%–3% of Deh’Subz residents commute to Kabul for work.) The stability of farming has been severely affected by sporadic drought. Water is a major problem in the district, with two unusable wells and the war-related destruction of water pipes and agricultural irrigation.
Deh’Subz was heavily affected by the Afghan-Soviet war (1979–1989), which resulted in the devastation of many villages, including 80% of residential housing. Today, approximately 40% of housing has been rebuilt, but many families could not afford to rebuild and live with relatives or in tents. During the Taliban regime, the area remained calm except for fighting along the frontline near Kohi Safi, but the people of Deh’Subz complained much about the tyranny of the Taliban.
Today Deh’Subz is experiencing slow regrowth, including the government-backed development of 20,000 residential homes, but there is tremendous work ahead in order to provide just the basics of life and dignity to a people who have suffered from decades of war, oppression, and poverty. More than 73% of our students are impoverished.
Sponsoring one student is only $300 a year. The life of every student we add to our school is permanently changed for the better; these changes ripple through their family, community, and country. Donate here to keep the girls of Deh’Subz on the path towards a brighter future.