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Razia Jan chatting with a student while visiting Zabuli Education Center in Afghanistan.
Razia Jan

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

Our Story

In 2007, Razia Jan founded Razia’s Ray of Hope Foundation on the belief that education is the key to positive, peaceful change for current and future generations. Razia brought girls’ education to a rural Afghan community for the very first time, and the resulting transformation has been nothing short of remarkable. The foundation improves the lives of Afghan girls through community-based education, in addition to the provision of necessities like food and warm winter clothing, understanding that we must empower girls and young women through both education and resources to work toward brighter futures in their own villages and beyond.

Razia Jan and Staff Outside of Zabuli Education Center.

Razia Jan and Staff Outside of Zabuli Education Center.

Razia Jan

Razia Jan

Razia Jan with leaders from diverse non-profit organizations, gathered at the Get Her There Event.

Razia Jan with leaders from diverse non-profit organizations, gathered at the Get Her There Event.

Razia Jan and Students at Zabuli Education Center.

Razia Jan and Students at Zabuli Education Center.

Razia Jan

Razia Jan

Razia Jan at the Grand Opening of Zabuli Education Center.

Razia Jan at the Grand Opening of Zabuli Education Center.

Razia Jan receiving the 2012 CNN Hero Award presented by Viola Davis.

Razia Jan receiving the 2012 CNN Hero Award presented by Viola Davis.

Razia Jan at the 2012 CNN Heroes Tribute event.

Razia Jan at the 2012 CNN Heroes Tribute event.

Razia Jan at Zabuli Education Center

Razia Jan at Zabuli Education Center

Razia Jan in discussion at the Girls' Opportunity Alliance's Get Her There Event in New York, 2022.

Razia Jan in discussion at the Girls' Opportunity Alliance's Get Her There Event in New York, 2022.

Razia Jan at the Girls Opportunity Alliance's Get Her There Launch Event in New York City.

Razia Jan

Razia Jan is an entrepreneur, business owner and professional speaker, globally recognized for her activism and humanitarian work in Afghanistan, including the CNN Top Hero award, the Woman of Excellence Award from Germaine Lawrence, Rotary International’s Service Above Self Award and Global Woman of Action Award, and certificates of appreciation from the Army Corps of Engineers and the American Legion, Razia also received an Honorary Doctorate in Humane Letters from Lasell University in 2022, and most recently was honored by LA5 Rotary Club as the 2024 Woman of the Year. Razia has served as a member of the Interfaith Council, the No Place for Hate Committee, and Jordan Hospital’s board of directors.

Afghan girls sitting together outside during break at Zabuli Education Center.

Educating girls in Afghanistan is a critical step towards building a more just, equal and prosperous society.

Girls' lives in Afghanistan can be challenging due to a range of cultural, social and political factors such as limited access to education and lack of resources, early marriage and childbearing, restrictions on movement; their inability to move freely and participate in public life, gender-based violence and poverty. 

Razia's Ray of Hope provides education and support to girls in Afghanistan to aid in building a brighter future for themselves, their families and their community.

"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

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