Hikma’s Support for the Sweimeh School for Girls
The Sweimeh School for Girls is located in the Balqa province, where less than half of women are enrolled in basic education (49%) and the female illiteracy rate is more than double that of males. Poverty is high in the areas surrounding the school, and most people have unfortunately not completed higher education. It is on this basis that in 2015 Hikma decided to adopt the Sweimeh School for Girls, initiating a comprehensive effort to improve the school’s infrastructure, elevate educational standards and improve the students’ academic results.
At Hikma, we have always placed a high emphasis on improving educational standards and access for our communities; and improving women’s education was especially targeted by Hikma’s late founder Samih Darwazeh, who recognized it as a core regional deficit. It is in this spirit that Hikma has maintained education as a pillar of its corporate responsibility strategy, making concerted efforts to promote sustainable development by improving access and quality of education for those most marginalized in our societies.
Hikma’s adoption of the Sweimeh School for Girls was implemented through a combined effort that included financial investments in school infrastructure as well as the cooperation of employee volunteers to help rebuild the school and assist in the classrooms.
Some of Hikma’s major contributions to improving the school include:
- Complete renovation of the school nursery
- Rebuilding the students’ garden and play areas
- Renovating old and damaged infrastructure
- Providing access to clean, sanitized and safe water supply
- Providing access to refrigeration for the school cafeteria
- Renovating the surrounding infrastructure – such as paving the roads – so that students can safely access the school
Our support campaign for the Sweimeh School achieved instant results, as the school witnessed a drastic reduction in student dropouts and measured improvements in performance. Having had only one graduate of Jordan’s challenging Tawjeehi program in the previous five years, the Sweimeh School boasted the success of three students in 2016 out of a total of nine attending seniors. In an area where female students often face familial and social pressure to drop out of school to pursue a more domestic lifestyle, Hikma is proud to play a part in empowering female students in Sweimeh and improve their access to quality education.