The American Schools and Hospitals Abroad (ASHA) program represents the pioneering spirit and the generosity of the United States and is the product of an evolutionary process that dates back to the 1800s, when U.S. missionaries established overseas schools as a major component of their efforts. The generosity of the United States continued through the inception of the ASHA program under the Mutual Security Act of 1957, and later through the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, as amended. For more than a century, Americans have been expanding educational and medical opportunities to countries around the world by creating institutions that incorporate our highest educational and medical standards.
The networks of American educational and medical institutions supported around the world offer and help expand opportunities to those who are unable to access quality education and services in areas of the world where often very little exists. More importantly, they create a foundation for training future leaders in a wide variety of disciplines – while providing an understanding of American economic, scientific, and social practices and institutions. The ASHA-supported institutions make a vital contribution to U.S. foreign policy by nurturing democracy and tolerance. These institutions educate successive generations of global citizens, a significant number of whom continue to leadership positions in their home countries, who understand and support American values, and who also understand the tangible economic, political, and social benefits that a commitment to democracy and critical thinking produce.
Specifically, ASHA funds support: (1) secondary schools that provide academic and vocational training; (2) undergraduate institutions with programs in liberal arts, medicine, nursing, agriculture, and the sciences; (3) graduate institutions that provide specialized training and research opportunities to future national and international leaders in health sciences, physical sciences, and other professional areas; (4) libraries and centers of excellence that provide open access to information and encourage its use in decision-making; and (5) hospital centers that prepare leaders in the profession, influence standards, and provide facility- and community-based health care, medical training, and research.
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Last updated: April 12, 2013