Breaking Ground on a New Afghanistan: Girls' Schools Paving the Way
DEH'SUBZ: Razia Jan, Founder of Razia's Ray of Hope, has broken ground on the second ever K-12 girls' school in Deh'Subz, Afghanistan. Among notable attendees of the groundbreaking ceremony were the esteemed village elders: the same men who'd once insisted Razia designate the school for boys, and now race their female relatives to the front of the line on registration day. The same men who'd once refused to make eye contact with Razia Jan, but now hail her as "The Mother of Deh'Subz."
Raised in pre-Taliban Afghanistan, Razia moved to the U.S. as a young adult to attend university. On 9/11, fate brought Massachusetts resident Razia Jan and Massachusetts native Patti Quigley together. Patti's husband was on flight 175; she was eight months pregnant at the time. The two connected through relief efforts and resolved to address the bigger picture, deciding education was the way forward. Years later, they had rallied enough funds to open the Zabuli Education Center.
The K-12 Zabuli Education Center a private, all-girls, "excellent," "exemplary" school per Afghanistan's Ministry of Education, has been producing top-notch students since 2008. When graduates had no option to continue their education beyond high school (per cultural norms re leaving the village), Razia built them a post-secondary institute. Graduates are now pursuing degrees in international relations and political science, as well as certifications in Midwifery, bringing vital medical support to a community in a country where a woman dies every two hours from childbirth related complications.
The opening of the new school, planned for March 2022, will allow the Foundation to double its capacity, helping to alleviate its years long waitlist of hundreds of girls.