Life goes on for Razia Jan’s girls’ school in Afghanistan

Editor’s note: When the blast waves of 9/11 rumbled through Boston 20 years ago, Razia Jan, who had emigrated to the United States from Afghanistan in the 1970’s, shared in the shock and grief of America. Friends from the Massachusetts towns where she lived and worked wanted to understand how Afghanistan could have given support to al-Qaida, led by the Saudi Osama bin Laden.

In an effort to answer in the most profound way, Razia looked for a way to give back to her home country and she dedicated herself to building a girls’ school. Her journey is captured in  GroundTruth Films’ “What Tomorrow Brings” which was produced and directed by Beth Murphy.

Watch it here.

When Kabul fell last month, fear and uncertainty gripped the school. Jan penned the letter we reproduce here to update the school’s supporters about the situation on the ground and bring back a ray of hope and resiliency into the grim outlook for the country.

Dear Friends,

I am so grateful for all of your support over the past weeks. I have been sharing all your emails, texts, DMs and letters with our students and staff, and they feel lucky to know there are people all around the world who continue to stand by them, care for them and support them.

I want you to know all of our students and staff are safe and our district has not experienced any violence.

Our K-6th grade students have resumed classes. I was so happy when the staff called me to tell me all went well. I was holding my breath the whole night before, I couldn’t even sleep. And even though I encouraged the teachers and students to stay home until they felt safe and comfortable, 100% of our teachers returned, and by the 3rd day of school 95% of the students were back as well!!

Our 7th-12th grade students are scheduled to return over the coming weeks. We will make sure you all are updated once they return.

We will continue to support our staff, students, and our community. We are also providing support to families who have had to relocate to our village, and we will expand upcoming enrollment to include the girls from these new families.

Not all of Afghanistan has been so lucky, but we are cautiously optimistic about our efforts, and I hope you will be too. Our GoFundMe page in support of these initiatives is still active, please share with your family and friends.

Our Afghan community knows you stand with them. We hope you know how grateful they are.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart,

Razia Jan