Grantees — all focused on elevating Afghan girls’ education — include Lamia Afghan Foundation, Razia’s Ray of Hope Foundation and School of Leadership Afghanistan.

WASHINGTON, DC (March 8, 2022)—World Food Program USA announces three new grantees for The Catherine Bertini Trust Fund for Girls’ Education: Lamia Afghan Foundation, Razia’s Ray of Hope Foundation and School of Leadership Afghanistan. With women and girls disproportionately impacted by hunger, the Bertini Fund works to empower them with the knowledge, training, and leadership skills necessary to achieve food security and reach their full potential.

The Lamia Afghan Foundation is an all-volunteer nonprofit dedicated to helping the children and disadvantaged people of Afghanistan by providing humanitarian aid, educational opportunities, and vocational training that will create opportunities for the next generation of Afghans that were unavailable or out of reach for their parents.

“This generous grant will allow us to have ten schools for girls in a protected and safe environment. They will be able to study beyond the sixth grade even though the Taliban has said that is the limit for public schooling for girls,” said President and CEO of the Lamia Afghan Foundation John Bradley, Lieutenant General, U.S. Air Force (Retired). “We have educated tens of thousands of girls in the fourteen years of our foundation work. The Taliban may be in control of the government now, but the education they received cannot be taken from these girls.”

Founded in 2007 by humanitarian, social innovator and Afghan native Razia Jan, Razia’s Ray of Hope is supported by a global team of women leaders and visionaries committed to peace. The Foundation knows that community-based, culturally aware education is a critical pathway toward meaningful change for future generations. Founded on the knowledge that education is key to positive, peaceful change for current and future generations, Razia’s Ray of Hope provides young Afghans with the opportunity to learn in a safe, nurturing environment.

“The Catherine Bertini Trust Fund for Girls’ Education’s investment in our teacher training program helps to ensure the sustainability of Afghan girls’ education, and we could not be more grateful. Educated girls show the world the value of a dowry is nothing compared to that of a diploma,” said Razia Jan, Founder of Razia’s Ray of Hope.

The School of Leadership Afghanistan (SOLA)’s mission is to provide Afghan girls with an environment where they can focus on their education and reach their potential in a way that is unprecedented in Afghanistan. SOLA can provide a safe and nurturing space in which to learn, where students can go from believing their role in society is to raise a family to navigating the world as critical thinkers and leaders who understand that they have the power to shape their nation’s future.

“The Taliban’s return to power in Afghanistan has imperiled the educations of millions of Afghan girls–not only girls still living in Afghanistan, but also those now dispersed worldwide in refugee camps. We’ve recently launched our 2022 admissions season at SOLA, and this grant will broaden our ability to specifically reach out to Afghan girls in these camps and to ultimately bring dozens of them to our Rwanda campus to continue their schooling this fall, ” said SOLA founder Shabana Basij-Rasikh.

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About World Food Program USA

World Food Program USA, a 501(c)(3) organization based in Washington, DC, proudly supports the mission of the United Nations World Food Programme by mobilizing American policymakers, businesses and individuals to advance the global movement to end hunger. Our leadership and support help to bolster an enduring American legacy of feeding families in need around the world. To learn more about World Food Program USA’s mission, please visit  wfpusa.org/mission-history.

About the Catherine Bertini Trust Fund for Girls’ Education

After winning the World Food Prize in 2003, Catherine Bertini, the former executive director for the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP), recognized an opportunity to leave a lasting legacy for women’s empowerment. Bertini used her winnings to establish the Catherine Bertini Trust Fund for Girls’ Education, a fund that supports innovative grassroots initiatives around the globe that boost access to training and educational opportunities for girls.

Media Contact:  
Toula Athas
World Food Program USA
tathas@wfpusa.org

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