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Duxbury’s own Razia Jan, recently named one of CNN’s Top Ten Heroes of the Year, met with friends and supporters at SeaFest, held under a tent on the front lawn of the First Parish Church.  SeaFest was sponsored by the Duxbury Rotary Club, with proceeds going to benefit Razia’s Ray of Hope Foundation and the Greater Plymouth Food Warehouse. 

Razia brought with her a selection of ladies’ shirts, jackets, tunics and scarves, jewelry and accessories making up “Razia’s Boutique” to help fundraising for her Zabuli Education Center, 30 miles outside of Kabul.   There, education is free for 350 girls, and much of its support has come from people in the town of Duxbury.

When the dream of a girls’ school first appeared to Razia, she brought her plans to the Duxbury Rotary Club, and many other charitable organizations in the area, to plead her case.  The community responded overwhelmingly.  The Duxbury Clipper was proud to send their columnist Bruce Barrett to cover the opening of her school so people here could see what her school looked like and could put faces to the little girls who smiled at their good fortune to attend school.  This past spring, the Clipper once again sent its representative in Karen Wong, longtime Duxbury Clipper photographer, to see how much work had been done in the five years since its opening. 

For her work with her Ray of Hope Foundation, CNN has awarded Razia $50,000 as one of the Top Ten heroes.  Voting continues at the CNN Web site,

 heroes.cnn.com.  Should Razia be the top vote getter, her prize would add $250,000 more to her foundation.

Razia’s Ray of  Hope was founded with the belief that education is key to positive, peaceful change for current and future generations and is dedicated to improving the lives of women and children in Afghanistan through community-based education at the Zabuli Education Center.