Habiba Safi

Habiba Safi

Core Midwife, Waitemata District Health Board
Bachelor of Health Science (Midwifery)

She wants to make a difference to women’s lives, says Habiba Safi who came to AUT to complete a Bachelor of Health Science (Midwifery).

“I wanted a career that is hands-on, practical and will make a difference to someone's life. It was also very important to me to be able to work with and support other women.

“I want to empower women, especially Muslim women, to make choices about their bodies and bring them health, confidence and strength.”

Becoming a competent midwife
Working with the women and their families during the practical parts of her studies is what she enjoyed most about her time at university, Habiba says.

“As part of the AUT midwifery degree, we had a number of placements in settings like hospitals, primary birthing units or diabetes clinics to help us develop a range of clinical skills.

“I’m thankful that the women and their families allowed me to be a part of their journey and respected me as a health professional. The feedback forms they gave me helped me become more competent and enabled me to make changes to my practice.”

She would highly recommend the Bachelor of Health Science (Midwifery), Habiba says.

“The degree covered current and evidence-based practice and theory, allowing for more ethical practice. I also enjoyed being part of AUT and having access to all the support available to us students. Time management was my biggest challenge because the amount of theory and practice hours I had to get done was huge. Thankfully AUT had good student resources that helped me get my work done and talk about any issues.”

Supported to thrive
She is grateful for the support of the Sir Robert Jones Refugee Daughters' Scholarship throughout her studies, says Habiba whose parents came to New Zealand as refugees from Afghanistan in the 1990s.

“This scholarship gives girls a chance to prove themselves and get a tertiary education without worrying about the financial aspects of university study. I’m one of eight children, so this took a huge burden off my father’s shoulders.

“I also appreciated the support of the scholarship team who always emailed to see if I was alright and checked in every semester, as well as organising group gatherings for all the scholarship recipients, so we could catch up and talk about our challenges and our triumphs.”

Habiba hopes her success will also inspire her family.

“I’m extremely grateful to my parents because if they hadn’t come to New Zealand, I wouldn’t be where I am today. I look at the hardships they have been through, and use that as a motivation to work harder. I hope my siblings will be inspired by my journey, so they too will want to go to university and make their dreams come true.”

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