A film by Beth Murphy. More at Principle Pictures.

There has never been a school for girls in the village of Deh Subz, Afghanistan. Afghan-American Razia Jan set out to change that. In 2009, despite pressure to educate boys and threats to ruin the school, the Zabuli Education Center opened a school to educate 200 girls. Razia's hope is to make life a little easier, even for a few hours a day, for the girls who have to work so hard at such a young age. "Once you learn something, nobody can take that away from you."

October 11, 2012 marks the inaugural commemoration of the International Day of the Girl Child - a new global observance to highlight the importance of empowering girls and ensuring their human rights. Educating girls provides them a foundation for a better life.


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  • inder dutt

    The humility and honesty...speaking from the heart is most amazing, inspirational in every way possible.

  • mark

    naona mfumo huu unaitakwai kujadiliana na hawa wanaopinga wanawake wasipate elimu

  • Dagen Julty

    May Razia inspire all of us to be so ambitious, noble and successful. There is great need everywhere around the world!


    i admire and appreciate Razia jan to give education with her own funds. what a marvelous lady she is. she is hope for the hopeless uneducated girls in afghanistan. long live ray of hope Razia jan.

  • Bruce Preville

    I was angered to read in the news that the Taliban shot a14-year-old schoolgirl in the head for advocating for girls' education. However, even the World Bank is undermining the rights of young women to receive an education. In 2012, the World Bank promised to increase grants and loans for global education by $750 million over 5 years, declaring a 5-year baseline for their pledge, a 40% increase. Now they claim a 10-year baseline, or a 9% decrease! Donor countries pledged an additional $2.5 billion over 3 years to education for all children. However, the World Bank’s fuzzy math nearly wipes that out with their $2.3 billion decrease. Let’s hold the World Bank accountable for their pledge… for the 61 million children who cannot get a primary school education.

  • Kristin Pedemonti

    What we often take for granted others view as the Empowerment Education Can Be. As a Storyteller & Founder of Literacy Outreach Belize, (I sold my home & possessions to create this volunteer project) I work in schools worldwide. I see Children make Sacrifices and Take Risks simply to go to school. EVERY student should see videos like this that illustrate the Power of Education. May we all remember how fortunate any of us are each day we awaken, have food to share, a place to stay, and the ability/freedome to use our minds. Indeed, once you learn something, nobody can take that away from you!

  • Uzma Altaf

    She is a role model for the entire world.

  • Maya Vidhyadharan

    Thank you Razia! Thank you for uplifting the One Mind through your courageous and life changing actions! Bless you!

  • Tricia DeVito

    Such enthusiasm for the opportunity to learn is exciting. I am inspired by these young women. May this school and many more schools continue to educate and ignite the flames of freedom and wisdom and eliminate tyranny and ignorance. Bravo for these determined activists that continue to stand tall for the rights of the oppressed.

  • Paul A Gewirtz

    Just that it could be done, and is continuing, is beautiful.

  • rajeswari

    when you learn something nobody can take it away - very true

  • Sue

    a ray of hope

  • James Samuel

    How do you bring about "progressive Western sensibility?" - how incredibly arrogant! If you want to be really inspired try this talk: http://youtu.be/SpIxZiBpGU0

  • Carlos

    Makes your heart truly beat!

  • Ann R Davis

    This is one of those miracles that, if allowed and encouraged to flourish many years ago, would surely have prevented the current chaos. But out of the rocks in the wilderness, a flower blooms.

  • vicki anderson

    Thank God for the work of Greg Mortonsen. He started the building of girls schools in northern Pakistan and Afganistan over 15 years ago. He is not political.

  • Graham

    Wow!!! What a beautiful video! Razia Jan is doing the work of angels : )

  • Vicky

    It saddens me to see stories like these. So much work needs to be done to make this world a better place. Be the change..find your own way to make a change in your world today..I've found mine at Unlimited-Smileage.

  • Uma

    It is an eye opener for many. People how life looks like inAfganistan? we take so many things for granted but there are many out there struggling for their basics mneeds. We need to be grateful and contribute to others in this world in what ever ways we can. Great work RAzi god bless you. Keep up the good work

  • lessia bonn

    This is really cool.

  • Peter Clarke

    Thank-you for making this film. These girls are simply inspiring. We hope to bring these messages to our network in 2013. Keep up the brilliant work.

  • Nina Foster

    CNN has named Razia’s Ray of Hope Founder Razia Jan as a Top 10 CNN Hero of 2012, recognizing her extraordinary contributions to improving the lives of young girls in Afghanistan.Please vote for her every day, ten times a day! heroes.cnn.com

  • Page 1

  • Learn more about Razia Jan's organization, Razia's Ray of Hope Foundation, and the work they are doing to improve the lives of girls through community-based education.
  • Read more about the direct, developmental benefits of educating girls.
  • Watch this video and vote for Razia Jan as CNN's Hero of the Year for 2012.

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