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Support 50 Muslim Girls to Become Nurses

by Asia America Initiative
Support 50 Muslim Girls to Become Nurses
Support 50 Muslim Girls to Become Nurses
Support 50 Muslim Girls to Become Nurses
Support 50 Muslim Girls to Become Nurses
Support 50 Muslim Girls to Become Nurses
Support 50 Muslim Girls to Become Nurses
Support 50 Muslim Girls to Become Nurses
Support 50 Muslim Girls to Become Nurses
Support 50 Muslim Girls to Become Nurses
Support 50 Muslim Girls to Become Nurses
Support 50 Muslim Girls to Become Nurses
Support 50 Muslim Girls to Become Nurses
Tanjung Elementary mini-nurse helps weigh student
Tanjung Elementary mini-nurse helps weigh student

In 2016, Asia America Initiative made a commitment to provide scholarships, books, and other learning materials to support 50 Muslim girls in Sulu to achieve a nursing degree and license to practice the healing profession. In the past 3 years, we have surpassed that goal by supporting more than 225 students to become registered nurses and midwives and revitalized degree programs at both Sulu State College and Mindanao State University.

At the elementary school level Asia America Initiative, in partnership with the School Nurses of Sulu, the Nursing School of Mindanao State University, the Jolo Fire Department [Bureau of Fire Protection], and the National Red Cross, hopes to inspire students to become part of the nursing or first-responder profession. We have organized and funded the training of more than 500 elementary and high school students in approximately 55 schools to become volunteer Little Nurses. They receive a "go" backpack with basic first aid items and a bright orange vest that will identify them in a large crowd. 

Dire poverty, armed conflict, classrooms without books or chairs and lack of quality public health facilities has led Sulu in the Autonomous Muslim Region in Mindanao to be considered as one of the most impoverished regions of the world by the United Nations. Sulu, currently under martial law, is considered the most underdeveloped province in Mindanao. Any hope of higher education seems out of the realm of possibility for most of the 400,000 school children in Sulu. With less than 20 doctors for some 1 million residents of the province, nurses are often the lead health care providers.

"We highly value our young nurses," says Tanjung Elementary School Nurse Monira, RN. "They participate in all of our health and hygiene programs in the school where we have more than 1,400 pupils. In case of an emergency inside their classroom, they can immediately assist a sick or hurt child. Their role is to intervene until the school nurse can arrive."

I asked Little Nurse Sarhada, a fifth-grader at Tanjung Elementary, why she volunteered to become a Little Nurse. She responded with a big smile: "I want to help other people, and how to cure any type of pain.  I want to show my gratitude for all the blessings I have received.  Like for example, if another student stumbles and falls down, I will rescue that student. I want to share the lessons I have learned by being a Little Nurse."

We invite you to contribute whatever you can afford to this beautiful platform for children to express their desire to serve others. Please continue to be part of our Nursing team by clicking on the link below.  

Happy Holiday Season to all!!

Support 50 Muslim Girls to Become Nurses

2019 Mini-Nurse Group at Tanjung ES
2019 Mini-Nurse Group at Tanjung ES
Emergency response training for mini-nurses
Emergency response training for mini-nurses
Jolo Fire Fighters lead first aid training
Jolo Fire Fighters lead first aid training
5th grade mini-nurse learns first aid rescue
5th grade mini-nurse learns first aid rescue
Little nurses lead anti-bullying campaign
Little nurses lead anti-bullying campaign
Little Nurse teaches 1st grader to brush teeth
Little Nurse teaches 1st grader to brush teeth
Mini-Nurse expresses her joy
Mini-Nurse expresses her joy
New mini-nurse wearing uniform vest from AAI
New mini-nurse wearing uniform vest from AAI

Links:

Children assist school nurses cleaning mosquitos
Children assist school nurses cleaning mosquitos

To foster enthusiasm in youth who come from impoverished environments to enter the nursing profession requires exposure to performing service for family and friends at an early age.  Sulu Province in the southern Muslim Mindanao area of the Philippines is such a place.  Dire poverty, armed conflict, classrooms without books or chairs and lack of quality public health facilities has led to Sulu to be considered as one of the most impoverished regions of the world by the United Nations. Any hope of a higher education seems out of the realm of possibility for most children. With less than 20 doctors for some 1 million residents of the province, nurses are often the lead health care providers. In 2016, Asia America Initiative made a commitment to provide scholarships, books and other learning materials to support 50 Muslim girls in Sulu to achieve a nursing degree and license to practice the healing profession. In the past 3 years, we have surpassed that goal by supporting more than 200 nurses to become registered nurses and midwives and revitalized degree programs at both Sulu State College and Mindanao State University.

"The contribution of hundreds of textbooks and other learning materials has been a great help to our instructors and students," states Dr. Annisa, Dean of the Graduate School at Mindanao State University. "In addition, test scores have dramatically improved."

The Rainy Season of 2019 in the Philippines has fostered an epidemic of deadly dengue fever across the Philippines. Helping to stop the spread of this deadly mosquito-borne disease has involved elementary student nurses, especially in the southern province of Sulu. The little nurses are inspired to make nursing their career by the pride they feel in fighting the epidemic conditions through cleaning stagnant water and debris piles where mosquitoes breed. The confidence level of the little nurses in each school is raised when they know they are helping to protect their friends from the deadly dengue virus. They feel the appreciation and love from those children’s parents, their own, their teachers and school nurses. These real life experiences are the impetus the students need to seek higher education as qualified nurses.

Asia America Initiative supports the Nursing program with funding support by Global Giving donors.

Thank you!

UPCOMING EVENT

On Thursday July 18, Global Giving is offering a Bonus Day which will match your donation at the $100 level or above. If you are interested in providing a smaller monthly contribution for these young nurses, Global Giving is offering a match at 100% ! Just select "monthly" when making your contribution. Thank you !

Little nurses empty stagnant water in playground
Little nurses empty stagnant water in playground
Students and volunteers clear school grounds
Students and volunteers clear school grounds
College Nursing Students with professor
College Nursing Students with professor

Links:

Nursing Students receiving med supplies from AAI
Nursing Students receiving med supplies from AAI

Globally, Muslim females of all ages 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.  More significantly, the Philippines is considered by the United Nations and other international agencies to be among  the most victimized by natural and man-made calamities such as tropical, storms, floods,eathquakes, volcanoes, deaths in childbirth and infant mortality, and communal violence.

The AAI Nursing Development program began in 2015 to provide at least 50 female students a quality education in public health service in Sulu, Philippines. Sulu, with more than 150 islands, is comprised of 19 districts, subdivided into 410 barangays [villages] has a population of close to 900,000 people,mostly earing less than $2 per day.  Tragically the province has less than 16 medical doctors. Nurses are the framework of public health. Thus far, Asia America initiative has surpassed our original goal by helping some 200 females become nurses.  An additional 500 elementary and high school nursing and first aid volunteers assist their schools' nurses and are trained in emergency response and first aid techniques if a calamity strikes.

In early 2019, AAI received a large batch of medical and nursing books and other medical equipment from hospitals, schools and churches on the east coast of the United States which we immediately shipped to Sulu. Funding from GlobalGiving donors make it possible for us to pay for the shipping and transportation costs.  And with targeted GlobalGiving donations we were able to purchase first aid medicines and hygiene soaps and disinfectants to prevent the spread of communicable diseases. 

"We are very fortunate to have sponsors and donations coming from outside of pour country,"  says Dr. Anissa, the Dean of the Graduate School at Mindanao State University. "This is a one in a million blessing.  Because it is such a rare opportunity we have learned to value the efforts of our donors who have been so supportive and thoughful toward us, who they don't even know.  It also sets an example for students and teachers and everyone on the grassroots level to not be selfish or greedy." 

By supporting so many additional female nursing students with their basic educational needs, classroom materials, graduation fees and the cost of licensing exams, we have made a life-saving contribution to the grateful people of Sulu.  The young women nursing students demonstrate the potential for success for Muslim women around the world. As health care providers, the nurses are providing vital services to all community members and expand the employment base in one of the most economically deprived areas of the world. They also are positive symbols for local youth to give to their neighbors unselfishly. As we grow in scope and quality, our nursing programs in Sulu are a beacon of hope for the entire community. We extend our heartfelt gratitude to all of our donors.  We could not do this without you!

MSU Library receiving books
MSU Library receiving books
NDJC Pinning Ceremony for Nurses
NDJC Pinning Ceremony for Nurses
Director Santoli visits Nursing Students at MSU
Director Santoli visits Nursing Students at MSU

Links:

 During the past four years of consistent support, we have doubled our goal to increase the number of new nurses in Sulu, Muslim Mindanao in the Philippines.  Our achievement is due to generous Global Giving donors and an energeic and skillfull faculty at Sulu State College Nusing School led by Coordinator NurseFrissida, "AAI first became involved in mid-2015 and inspired us not to give up," she recalls. " At that time the Philippine government was prepared to close the Sulu State College Nursing School due to a low graduation rate of around 40 percent.  Even the most basic textbooks and classroom supplies such as microscopes were unavailable." 

Working with Nurse Frissida and the Sulu State College president,  we all made a commitment to try our best to save the program.  AAI set a goal of assisting the training 50 new Registered Nurses.  Since that time, we have now assisted the graduatiion of close to 120 new nurses who have passed the national examination to obain their Registered Nursing licenses.

Sulu is located within the Ring of Fire notorious for numerous earthquakes and volcanoes.  It is also one of the most needy and impoverished areas in the world according to United Nations Development reports. Deaths of women in childbirth, the fatalities of children with treatable illnesses and rampant malnutrition are all endemic among one million  people scattered in 100 islands of all sizes.

Former SSC Nursing School faculty member, Dr. NIssa, RN and Ph.D. is currently the Dean of the Graduate School at Mindanao State University. AAI has made a commitment to MSU Nursing School and Nursing Graduate Degree program to make an effort to help them to excel, similar to our program at SSC. "What is so inspiring to us is that people from outside our place believed in us, and sent us support so we could achieve our dreams," Dean Nissa says.  "Like at SSC, we were motivated also by how unselfishly AAI acted with a positive attitude and that made everyone more willing to do their part."

Our goal for 2019-20 is to assist at least another 100 quality nursing students to earn their professional licenses.  We hope that you remember us in your prayers and if possible, with your generous support. Thank you.

 

 


 

Faculty of SSC Nursing School
Faculty of SSC Nursing School

Links:

In September, 2018, in Sulu Province, Philippines, AAI sponsored the local Department of Education Health and Nutrition Section's nurses to conduct a two day training seminar and workshops for elementary and high school students and some teachers.  The emphasis of these seminars was to train hundreds of students and teachers to be first aid responders in the event of natural or man-made disasters. In addition to emergency services, the HNS nurses provided aid materials to foster preparedness ahead of any cataclysmic events that often plagues the Philippines. Due to lack of competence by government, Asia America Initiative backed by our generous GlobalGiving donors provided the funding to conduct these trainings.

The students participate in modules of training including: General First Aid practices, Post-traumatic Psychological first aid, and Disaster Preparedness.  Each Little Nurse, starting in grades 4 and 5, each received back packs with first aid equipment.

In our many years of conducting disaster relief and trauma counseling,  AAI has learned that a positive attitude, with neighbors and children demonstrating compassion and friendship to each other is a key factor to help communities to stabilize.  Students were inspired to do artwork during these training sessions to bring out the fears and inner-feelings of those suffering from trauma.  This shared compassion will not only help their community in times of need but will inspire young people to pursue higher education in the health care field. Our success in rebuilding the quality of graduates in the local college nursing schools is an offshoot success of our holistic approach. 

Nurse Shareen, who heads the school health services office says, "The confidence and readiness that we instill in our little nurses program and to empower classroom teachers to work with traumatized students is a benefit to our entire community.  The enthusiasm shown by our elementary school nurses' aids is far beyond our expectation... and they actively assist their fellow students whenever there is a cut or a bruise and need a helping hand."

The first Child to Child training seminars two years ago involved 2 schools and not more than 20 students.  This year, 300 students are participating from 12 schools in the region. The total number of trained little nurses exceeds 500 from nearly 50 schools in the region!

"As trained leaders in crisis, they are learning how to effectively communicate with peers and elders in the most difficult times," says Nurse Shareen.  "These skills will cross over to their daily lives and the community will benefit through interpersonal communication and empathy for others.  It can also reduce local clashes of violence in the future that are often exploited by outside influences. Many of these students will apply to college to become nurses."

Once again, your contributions help these students to excel and cover the cost of the expenses to conduct our AAI-HNS emergency relief program.

Thank you for your kindness!  We will be stepping up training during Holiday Season 2018 to continuously develop this program. 

Sincerely,

Director Al Santoli

Links:

 

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Organization Information

Asia America Initiative

Location: Washington, DC - USA
Website:
Project Leader:
Albert Santoli
Washington, DC United States
$20,655 raised of $25,000 goal
 
140 donations
$4,345 to go
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