Globally, Muslim women have been denied educational opportunity to benefit their communities. This program began in 2015 to provide at least 50 female students a quality education in Sulu, Philippines province to achieve a nursing career. Sulu is comprised of 19 districts, subdivided into 410 barangays [villages] with a population of close to 900,000 people and less than 16 medical doctors. Nurses are the framework of public health. Thus far AAI has helped some 200 females 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 predominantly Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao in the Philippines, Sulu State College 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.
By supporting 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. Compared to just 30 percentage pass rate of its students in the national nursing exams three years ago, Sulu State College Nursing students are now performing among the top 20 percent of all such schools in the Philippines. The challenge is to sustain this success by supporting bright young women in their studies. As of January 2018, AAI has helped support the successful incensing of 120 new nurses in Sulu.