Razia's Ray of Hope

RJI Scholarship Program

In a rural Afghan village, two dozen young women stand at conference tables wearing lab coats and hair nets, holding clipboards and pencils as they listen intently to their instructor. It’s cold in this classroom, but these students are focused on a sole objective: Absorbing everything they need to learn in two years of training in order to graduate from the Razia Jan Institute as certified, practicing midwives.

And they are exceeding all expectations. Now in the final months of their training, after receiving glowing inspections and exams from governing bodies, these midwifery students are already providing life-saving health care to a community utterly without medical services. As grateful family members and villagers spread word of these skilled front-line care providers, a newfound sense of pride, purpose, and respect follows these students as they walk through their neighborhoods with intention.

Addressing the Need

Afghanistan suffers from among the worst health indicators in the world. Decades of war devastated the country’s healthcare infrastructure and drastically reduced its number of health care providers. Due to gender-based, social, political, economic, and cultural obstacles, women and girls suffer disproportionately greater negative health outcomes than do their male counterparts. The country’s infant mortality rate is the worst in the world and its maternal mortality rate is the second worst.

According to the World Health Organization in 2016, 40% of health facilities in Afghanistan are without female staff, a significant problem in a country where cultural norms often mean that women are not allowed to receive medical care from men. The Afghan health system provides only 23% of the need for maternal and neonatal health care; fewer than 48% of Afghan women receive skilled prenatal care. In short, Afghanistan needs many more female health workers, particularly in rural areas. Training and certifying midwives and other female health care providers is a powerful inoculation against towering rates of maternal and infant mortality that improves overall health care in Afghanistan. We are dedicated to reversing the cyclical, negative health outcomes suffered by Afghan women and children due to lack of education and the perpetuation of a medical desert.

Beacon of Hope; Purveyor of Change

The Razia Jan Institute (RJI) is a tuition-free, two-year midwifery training school that facilitates health-sector employment for Afghan women. In addition to midwifery training, RJI provides classes in English, personal finance, and computer literacy.

Beginning with its first class of certified graduates in March 2019, RJI matriculates 20 to 25 midwives every other year. These trained health care workers provide life-saving services to their community while improving social, health, and economic outcomes for themselves and their villages. RJI is the first post-secondary vocational school for women in the rural district of Deh’Subz. 

The Opportunity

Through Razia’s Ray of Hope Foundation’s Midwifery Scholarship Program, supporters have a unique opportunity to enable the education and certification of female health care professionals working in rural Afghanistan. This investment has a broadly exponential impact, translating directly to lives saved and communities transformed.

Investing in a student through the Razia Jan Institute’s Midwifery Scholarship Program is a support level of $6,000/year, or $500/month. This scholarship covers faculty and program staff salaries, facilities and equipment (bus transportation to and from clinics and hospitals, medical training equipment, computers, software), operational costs (medical uniforms, books and subscriptions, healthy food), and administration.

When your scholarship student graduates from the Razia Jan Institute as a certified, practicing midwife, you will celebrate deeply in her accomplishment, knowing your support enabled a spectacular accomplishment that will positively change—and indeed, save—countless lives in the decades to come. For committed change-makers, there is no greater reward.

Window to Progress

At the beginning of each program year, Razia’s Ray of Hope Foundation will provide you or your organization with a personal video introducing you to all the benefits of your scholarship. Two subsequent videos each year will highlight your scholarship student’s clinical and classroom instruction, along with her observations and perspectives. This annual trio of videos will give you a lens into your student’s progress and development as she approaches gainful, meaningful employment in her community.

Join Our Global Village

Enroll in our Midwifery Scholarship Program online here! We’d be pleased to discuss the program with you and answer any questions you may have. For more information, please contact: Sarah Parker, Development Manager, at sarah.parker@raziasrayofhope.org or 781-431-7894.


Scholarship Terms and Conditions: I understand that upon the completion of each year of scholarship, my scholarship will automatically renew. I agree to be charged the then-current scholarship amount unless I give notification in writing to Razia's Ray of Hope Foundation not less than thirty (30) days prior to the end of my scholarship year. Sending notification via e-mail to moreinfo@raziasrayofhope.org is acceptable for this purpose. I understand that I can cancel my recurring payments at any time—however, any payments already processed cannot be refunded.
Reason to Donate #6: Educating a mother drops infant mortality by 10% per year of school.