Globally, Muslim women have been denied educational opportunity to benefit their communities. This program began in 2015 to provide 50 female students in Sulu, Philippines a quality education in order to launch their nursing careers. Sulu is comprised of 19 districts, subdivided into 410 barangays [villages] with a population of close to 1 million people with less than 16 medical doctors. Nurses are the framework of public health. Thus far AAI has helped some 225 young women to become nurses.
Muslim females of all ages around the world are being denied the opportunity to receive a quality education and to develop professional skills to remedy the health, social, and economic needs of their communities. In the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao in the Philippines, Sulu State College and Mindanao State University have provided such opportunity. However, the schools are surrounded by high poverty and communal violence. Students struggle to complete their studies.
We will support at least 50 additional female nursing students with their basic educational needs, classroom materials, graduation fees, and the cost of licensing exams. These young women demonstrate the potential success for Muslim women around the world. As health care providers, the nurses are providing vital services to all community members and expanding the employment base in one of the most economically deprived areas of the world. They also are positive symbols for local youth.
The nursing programs in Sulu are a beacon of hope for the entire community. With support from AAI, Sulu State College Nursing students are now performing among the top 20 percent of all such schools in the Philippines - compared to just a 30 percentage student pass-rate in the national nursing exams four years ago. As of December 2019, AAI has helped support the successful licensing of some 225 new nurses in Sulu. The challenge is to sustain this success.