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LEARN Afghanistan

LEARN Afghanistan

An Afghan feminist, activist, and educator helping girls safely and securely access quality education against all odds.

LEARN Afghanistan is a non-profit dedicated to innovation in education, health, community resource building with a focus on women, girls and child rights advocacy.

LEARN also delivers an online curriculum with a wide range of content, including English and STEM education, to 400 girls in four schools with local facilitators. Through LEARN, she has educated 7,000 girls in Kandahar, Afghanistan, and trained more than 80 teachers in digital literacy.

Pashtana Durrani was born in Pakistan to parents who fled Afghanistan, escaping the civil war and the Taliban, and grew up in a refugee camp until 2016. Education was severely limited in these refugee camps, and there was no transportation to the nearest school – which was about 12 kilometers away.

At the age of 21, she became the head of her family following her father’s passing. By then she had already founded LEARN Afghanistan, the country’s first-ever digital school network. Forced into exile by the Taliban takeover in 2021 she is currently a visiting fellow at Wellesley Centers for Women while continuing to provide education for hundreds of girls in Afghanistan despite the current ban on them attending school.

She also is the winner of the 2023 Global Citizen Prize: Citizen Award, for her work as a social and political rights activist and Executive Director of LEARN Afghanistan — the country's first-ever digital school network.