Habiba Safi

Habiba Safi

Final-year student, Bachelor of Health Science (Midwifery)

She wants to make a difference to women’s lives, says Habiba Safi who is in the final year of her 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.

“When I graduate, I would love to work as a core midwife, based in a hospital. 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 has enjoyed most, Habiba says.

“As part of the midwifery degree, we have 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 allow me to be a part of their journey and respect me as a health professional. The feedback forms they give me have helped me become more competent and enable me to make changes to how I practise.”

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

“The degree covers current and evidence-based practice and theory, allowing for more ethical practice. I’ve also enjoyed being part of AUT and having access to all the support available to us students. Time management has been my biggest challenge because the amount of theory and practice hours I have to get done is huge. Thankfully AUT has good student resources that help 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 has taken a huge burden off my father’s shoulders.

“I also appreciate the support of the scholarship team who always email to see if I’m alright and check in every semester, as well as organising group gatherings for all the scholarship recipients, so we can catch up and talk about our challenges and our triumphs.”

Now in the final year of her studies, 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.”