Asia America Initiative

The mission of AAI is to build hope and empower communities afflicted by armed conflict and severe poverty. We believe that peace, security and respect for human dignity are inseparable. Our goal is to develop programs as sustainable models that can be replicated globally. Our people-to-people initiatives integrate health, education, arts and livelihood as a basis for mediation. By building Hope, we overcome the hatred propagated by terror organizations. The success of these cost-effective models shows that empowering impoverished and conflict-plagued communities strengthens international security, stability and peace.
May 8, 2014

NGO and corporate partners in e-classrooms

Asturias Elementary School e-classroom set up
Asturias Elementary School e-classroom set up

Asia America Initiative's Education and Entrepreneurship for Peace program has joined the Philippine Department of Education and Hewlett Packard Corporation [HP] in creating model electronic classrooms [e-classrooms] at Camp Asturias Elementary School in Jolo city in the highly impoverished and war-torn Sulu province.  Most schools in Sulu lack the most basic education necessities such as chairs, books, paper and pencils, and lack the most basic medical and sanitation needs of the children.  Since 2002, AAI has assisted more than 24 elementary and high schools and colleges in the province and more than 30,000 students and and we have helped provide training to scores of teachers.  Camp Asturias Elementary principal Abdurasul Sajili says, "The e-classrooms have added inspiration and a new horizon for education and future employment for our pupils.  Asia America initiative has been in our community working with teachers, parents and children to develop[ community ownership and pride in our educational efforts.  With more humane classroom conditions, our student retention and graduation rates have increased substantially.  Thanks to the encouragement of AAi and other NGOS and generous companies such as HP to assist with new technologies that let us know that our children can have a brighter future."

All of AAI's development teams in the area are locally born and speak the native languages, with a resurgent emphasis in remedial literacy and English langauge to qualify for the integration of new technologies that will link remote schools to modern economies.  "We are inspired by the hard work and sacrifices of the local school teachers and parents who have sacrificed so much for the good of their children,"  says AAI president Santoli.  "Technology copmpanies like HP provide the tools and training opportunities to inspire  young people to study hard and not give up on life.  The opportunity to work is a deterrence to violence and creates harmony within a community...  We are also grateful to our donors from Global Giving who help make all of this possible with donations of all sizes."

To assist with this program, a chair for the computer lab costs only $8.  A school bag filled with school supplies, notebooks and hygiene products like hand sanitizers costs only $10 per student.  The cost of builing a septic tank and toilet for a classroom costs only $500, and a generator for back-up power supply for 10 computers is around $700.  

AAI is honored to assist with the e-classrooms and we invite the global giving community to assist with the basic but all-important support components.  Help us to "create peace by building hope" through education tied to livelihood.

technicians install HP computers in e-classroom
technicians install HP computers in e-classroom
needy outdoor classrooms in Jolo
needy outdoor classrooms in Jolo
AAI
AAI's Al Santoli welcomed by Jolo school teachers
Al Santoli with kindergarten child, Asturias ES
Al Santoli with kindergarten child, Asturias ES
crowded pre-K class at Asturias ES
crowded pre-K class at Asturias ES
chalkboards but no books in Asturias ES
chalkboards but no books in Asturias ES
new Asturias ES e-classroom  needs books & chairs
new Asturias ES e-classroom needs books & chairs

Links:

Apr 22, 2014

Self-Sufficiency for Philippine typhoon survivors

Baliguan Island Fishing coordinator Mr. Zacarias
Baliguan Island Fishing coordinator Mr. Zacarias

On April 21, 2014. volunteers from Asia America Initiative embarked on a two-hour boat ride to Baliguian Island in the Visayan Sea between Iloilo and Cebu provinces to participate in the christening ceremony of 6 motorboats built by fishing families to resestablish their fishing trade and feed themselves in the wake of devastating Typhoon Yolanda.  The materials for the boats were paid for by Asia America Initiative with support from Globalgiving donors.  The craftsmanship was done by the local fishing families, who have lived on this island for centuries.  This AAI fisheries program affects more than 300 persons who live on Baliguian island.

The project coordinator on Baliguian Island is Mr. Barry Zacharias, a community leader and fisherman, who volunteered to give 20 other families acces and ownership of the co-op motorized boats before his own family would be provided for. In response, AAI made sure that his family was also included with funds from AAI President Albert Santoli in Washington. Mr. Santoli said, "Recovery from the typhoon requires unselfish leadership and community cooperation.  Mr. Zacharias demonstrated these noble qualities, and we wanted to make sure he and his family, including three small children, were not forgotten.  I guess they trusted us, too...  that is the beauty of this process and the reason we can do so much with the the funds we raise with the help of our Globalgiving donors.  

 Other fisherfolk recipients of AAI boats, with formal titles, are  

               1. Johnny Canillas

                  Wife- Mary Grace Canillas 

               2. Erlito Juanito

                   Wife- Susan Juanito

               3. Norberto Zacarias

                  Wife- Luz Zacarias

               4. Leo Bacongco

                 Wife - Lourdes Bacongco

               5. Gary Z. Marquez

                  Wife - Mary Marquez

              6. Charlzon Bantillo

                  Wife - Joy Jean Bantillo 

The island was devastated by the typhoon winds and a tsunami-like tidal wave  in November 2013.  The finalization of the boats took a little time as the materials were purchased at a reduced price from the main island of Concepcion on the coast of iloilo Province.  Island to island transport is done through passenger boats that usually have limited trips.  We budgeted our funds to build sturdier and bigger boats with motors to withstand the heavy seas now more dangerous because of climate change.  Our motorboats are fit to survive the open sea. 

Soon, We will be purchasing $1,500 worth of materials  including hooks, strings and petromax (lamps powered by gasoline) and we will turn it over this week so they can start catching squids and other fish after the formal turn over. 

In addition AAI also turned over 2 boxes of books to the only elementary school in Baliguian Island, as we have made education of the children an additional priority. 

AAi Coordinator in Visayas, Marlon Jinon, says, "During the turn-over ceremony, islanders cried a lot of times because they were so happy that they will now be able to feed and educate their children. 

They thank AAI and our Globalgiving partners for your support." 

AAI youth volunteers carrying new boats to sea
AAI youth volunteers carrying new boats to sea
Baliguian island residents cleaning beach
Baliguian island residents cleaning beach
Baliguian fisher folk thank God for life and boats
Baliguian fisher folk thank God for life and boats
fisher families who built boats now receive titles
fisher families who built boats now receive titles
Baliguians built new boats now Christen them
Baliguians built new boats now Christen them
community fiesta meal celebrate new AAI  boats
community fiesta meal celebrate new AAI boats
Beauty of Baliguian Island and Visayan Sea
Beauty of Baliguian Island and Visayan Sea

Links:

Apr 22, 2014

Providing school supplies for flood survivors

AAI volunteers packing donated school books
AAI volunteers packing donated school books

Heavy rains, floods and mudslides continue to davastate many areas of Mindanao and Visayas in the Philippines.  In areas near the eastern Mindanao of Davo, tens of of thousands of families remain homelss and are threatened by floods and mudslides.  Food is hard to find and clean water and hygiene are virtually non-existent.

A number of international organizations such as the Red Cross and smaller organizations like Asia America Initiative are trying our best, but face a desperate shortage of funds and other resources as our many youth volunteers saeek to provide aid to diminsh the suffering of women, children, the elderly and men.  

Asia America Initiative have been also providing school books and readers to assist elmentary school and high school students to maintain basic education.  Thanks to donors from Global Giving and schools in the United States, we have been able to distribute close to 100,000 new textbooks across the typhoon zones.  But there is still much to be done.  

Every donation matters.  We urgently seek your support as the new typhoon season for 2014 officially begins in mid-May -- just 6 weeks from now. Schools re-open the first week of June, even if they are merely tents or pieces of plastic or cloth tarp with hand-crafted wooden benches made from driftwood.  Our goal is to keep the hot sun or heavy rain off of the school children so they can learn.  Clean water and sanitation are simple but remakably needed in schools that have no such essentials for life.  

We are grateful for the compassion and generosity you have generated.  And we seek your support in the coming weeks and months.  

Thank you and may God bless you for for your contunued support.

AAI school books ready for distribution
AAI school books ready for distribution
AAi volunteers always cheerful
AAi volunteers always cheerful
AAI container of school books for flood victims
AAI container of school books for flood victims
AAI flood beneficiaries happy to receive books
AAI flood beneficiaries happy to receive books
AAI books benefit disabled children too
AAI books benefit disabled children too

Links:

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