Farzana Ebrahimi

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June 18: Farzana Ebrahimi
Farzana Ebrahimi; Founder of the Kandahar Health and Development Organization
Hometown: Kandahar, Afghanistan How many girls her computer-training programs have educated: Over 120 Family: Married with three children

Farzana Ebrahimi, a 31-year-old businesswoman from Kandahar, Afghanistan, is fighting the country's cultural norm and blazing her own path to economic prosperity.

Farzana spent the majority of her adolescence in neighboring countries in an effort to avoid the Taliban's reign, and it was during this time that she began to develop a self-empowered attitude towards life. Upon returning to Afghanistan, Farzana looked for different ways to help out her war-torn country. Despite living in Kandahar, one of Afghanistan's most dangerous and conservative provinces, Farzana established the Kandahar Health and Development Organization (KHDO) to help her fellow country women by providing training, education and job opportunities for them.

Founded in January of 2007, Farzana currently leads KHDO, providing health and educational training programs for women to help propel them into a successful career. The organization aims to improve the overall social situation of Kandahar people with a focus on young women and girls in the city, and is committed towards strengthening civil society by promoting economic and human rights through health and education.

Providing vocational training for women and girls in partnership with national and international NGOs and UN agencies, KHDO has educated over 120 girls in the computer training programs and all of the KHDO graduates have been transformed into enterprising women who have enough training to secure a stable job and living. KHDO has developed health, sewing and vocational training including literacy programs for female prisoners in Kandahar prison.

KHDO programs include human rights training for teachers in girls' high schools, and the organization established the first female council for women of Afghanistan in 2008. Despite facing harsh criticism from men in Kandahar and the surrounding areas, Farzana's business continues to flourish. She attributes this mostly to her and her team's bravery and willingness to be strong. She says, "I focus my training on education for the women, because all things depend on literacy. Education can improve the situation."

Farzana is married and has three children.