Header Photo

Our Story

Razia Jan and kindergartener, first day of school, 2021Razia’s Ray of Hope Foundation provides Afghan girls and young women with safe, nurturing, and inspiring educational environments so that they may build brighter futures for themselves, their families, and their community.

Founded 2007 by humanitarian and social innovator Razia Jan, an Afghan native, Razia’s Ray of Hope is supported by a global team of women leaders and visionaries committed to peace. We know that community-based, culturally-aware education is a critical pathway toward meaningful change for future generations.

Our core project since 2008 is the Zabuli Education Center, an all-girl K-12 school in the district of Deh’Subz (30 miles northeast of Kabul) that provides free, high-quality education to nearly 700 students. The Zabuli Education Center was featured in the 2015 award-winning film by Beth Murphy, What Tomorrow Brings.

In March 2017, we opened the adjacent Razia Jan Institute, the first post-secondary school of its kind in rural Afghanistan, providing midwifery certification and employment opportunities to Zabuli Education Center graduates and the broader community. This initiative is unique in that it brings critical medical services to women in rural Afghanistan and offers additional education in English and computer literacy.

Our Values

Sun icon Peaceful Change

We know that education is key to positive, peaceful change in our communities and across Afghanistan.

Sun icon Human Rights

We believe that every young person in Afghanistan has a right to a high-quality education that expands their opportunities and ability to provide for their loved ones and communities.

Sun icon Safe, Nurturing Educational Environment

We are committed to creating safe, nurturing educational environments for young women and girls. This includes ensuring that every student is provided with a uniform, shoes, warm coats, and nutritious meals.

Sun icon Respect and Value Teachers

We respect our teachers and understand the valuable work they do, which is why we pay teachers 40%-60% more than typical Afghan schools.

Sun icon Women Supporting Women

We know that women supporting women is a global phenomenon that changes the course of history.

Sun icon Invest in Education

We encourage every human being to invest in the education and well-being of women and girls.

Sun icon Rays of Hope

We believe that one person’s legacy and wish for her country can become a thousand rays of hope.

“What Razia’s doing is part of a transformative process. We’re talking about a paradigm shift. That shift begins with education. Those traditions and cultural beliefs that people have held onto steadfastly for so long are more malleable than you think. You have to know how to approach it. Razia is culturally very savvy and she's been able to present the school in such a way that is acceptable to the local population. There’s a lot of diplomacy in that. Razia has been a brilliant diplomat. She’s a very strong woman, and I’m full of admiration.”
—Khaled Hosseini, best-selling author