Razia Jan – “Empowering women and girls in Afghanistan”
District 5040 Conference 2019; Saturday, May 4th at 10:40 a.m.

 Born in Afghanistan, Razia Jan is the founder of Razia's Ray of Hope Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the lives of women and children in Afghanistan through community-based education.
She was nominated as a Top 10 CNN Hero of 2012 for her work on the Zabuli Education Center, a school that she founded in rural Afghanistan that provides a free education to about 350 girls.
When the Zabuli Education Center opened, Razia says most of the men discouraged the idea of girls going to school. But now, she says that the men are proud of the girls. Still, every day is a struggle. 
Security guards check the doors and windows and test the water to ensure it has not been poisoned. Razia has received threats and a school nearby was the target of hand grenades. 
Yet Razia persists. She says the threats just encourage her to continue pursuing her dream of providing an education for girls.

Razia has spoken on women and children’s issues at venues across North America, Europe and Afghanistan. In 2015 she was awarded a Woman of Action award from Rotary International at the United Nations in New York City. In 2016, she was honored with Rotary International’s Service Above Self Award.