On Friday, November 9th, the Duxbury Student Union hosted Razia’s Ray of Hope Foundation and Karen Wong Photography to provide an evening of education and inspiration to a group of young Duxbury girls and their parents. The girls learned how Razia Jan left her comfortable life in Duxbury to return to her roots and open a school, now providing safe, free education for over 300 girls in Afghanistan.
Margaret Brook of Razia’s Ray of Hope Foundation shared the story of how Jan created her school despite financial and cultural challenges, and how education has already changed the future landscape for these young girls at the Zabuli Education Center. Karen Wong showed photos taken during her visit to the region and answered thoughtful questions from the young audience. Perhaps the most poignant lesson during the evening came with the opportunity to try on a Burka, the traditional covering worn by Afghan women. One of the girls pointed out how the person seems to “disappear” under the garment.
Jan’s dream is to empower Afghan girls to become teachers, midwives, nurses, and bookkeepers and, more likely, mothers; a first generation of educated mothers, changing the future for all. The pictures and stories shared throughout the evening inspired the audience to support Jan’s efforts through asking friends, classmates and family members to vote and help Jan win CNN Hero of the Year and more importantly, receive additional funding to expand her school beyond 8th grade.
Jan has recently enjoyed worldwide recognition as one of CNN’s Top Ten Heroes of 2012. As a top ten nominee, Jan received an award of $50,000 for the Zabuli Education Center in Afghanistan. What many of you may not know is YOU CAN STILL HELP! Jan is poised to win an additional $250,000 for her school if she is voted CNN Hero of the Year.
Use the “Power of Ten” to make our Top Ten Hero number one! Vote up to 10 times a day per email address at heroes.cnn.com and invite 10 friends to join you in voting for Razia Jan! For more information on Razia Jan, the Zabuli Education Center, and a link to vote: go to www.raziasrayofhope.org and “Like” Razia’s Ray of Hope on Facebook.