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.
Apr 9, 2014

20 out of 20 children cancer free; keeping alive 7 children with rare diseases

Keeping alive great children with rare diseases
Keeping alive great children with rare diseases

Wonderful news for our Global Giving Donors:  In August 2011 Asia America Initiative, with no funds for new programs and the organization's President recovering from a cancer surgery that few doctors thought he would survive, adopted 20 women and 30 women with various cancers in the Philippines and brought them to the mercy of the world through Global Giving.  These human beings came from among the poorest people in the world whose families earned less than $5 per day.  

Less than 3 years later, the program's first 20 children are cancer free -- thanks to your loyalty and generosity and incredible medical professionals at the Philippines Department of Health, the Philippine National Institutes of Health, the Philippine Cancer Society, Consul Helen Ong, our advisor Dr. Jaime Galvez-Tan, M.D. and staff at various hospitals in Manila.  Our volunteer artists, psychologists and mascots have also had a major role.  And of course, the Power of prayer.  In addition, 27 out of 30 women who entered into breast cancer treatment under the program are now cancer free, with the other three still receiving treatment. And 7 out of 8 Children with rare genetic diseases are still alive and healthy.  These children require monthly injections of Genzyme medicines which the company generously donates even though each treatment costs more than $10,000.  

We have had the support of Thomas Roane at the National Cancer Coalition in Florida and our wonderful European friends at HFK-KrebsAllianz, and the unbelievable scientists at Genzyme, Inc. who invent and produce replacement medicines for terminal diseases that usually take the lives of beautiful children before they reach 13 years old. We still needed to raise thousands of dollars to cover an assortment of expenses relted to treatment, nutrition and maintaining a positive attitude through artistic expression. 

In April 2014, AAI is using funds provided by Global Giving donors to provide for follow-up testing for recovering patients and to assist 60 children and their families to attend the Philippine Cancer Society's Children With Cancer Awareness Month activities at various public hospitals.  

From the bottom of our hearts, we speak on behalf on the beneficiary women and children who are live today thanks to you.  Maraming salamat, Po in Filipino language translates: Thank you very much, dear friends.

Healed Children, Families and Volunteers
Healed Children, Families and Volunteers
Children with Cancer Awareness Event April 20014
Children with Cancer Awareness Event April 20014
Art of Hope for Healing April 20014
Art of Hope for Healing April 20014
Happy Children @ Cancer Awareness Event 4-7-14
Happy Children @ Cancer Awareness Event 4-7-14

Links:

Feb 10, 2014

Revitalizing Schools and Building Fishing Boats

school children in Borongan, Samar
school children in Borongan, Samar

During the past six months the Philippines has been ravaged by natural disasters and armed conflicts.  The suffering began in September 2013 when fighting in Zamboanga City in the Mindnao region between governmental security forces and Muslim guerillas resulted in burned out neighborhoods and thousands of reugees.  That was followed by a massive earthquake in Bohol and in November the cataclysmic Typhoon Haiyan [Yolanda] ripped the Visayas region.

Asia America Initiative has conducted a Development for Peace program in the Mindanao and Visayas regions for more than ten years. During the new crisis period we responded with support from Global Giving donors.  We have helped to transport and distribute more than $12 million dollars of emergency aid, food and clean water into devastated areas.  But we have maintained our mission focus on building peace which is interchangable with development.  The central components of our process are to empower communities through education and livelihood opportunities.  We emphasize the need to overcome poverty, injustice and despair.  Maindang  Elementary and High Schools in Batad, Iloilo which were severly damaged in the typhoon are our models.  

The Philippines is comprised of more than 7,000 islands of all shapes and sizes.  The AAI "Education and Entrepreneurshipm for Peace" effort is focusing on fishing as a staple for grassroots employment and self-sufficiency. Experienced fishermen are being provided the materials to build boats and to teach that craft to their sons and grand sons.  Boys and girls are being supported to enhance their education through school libraries, even in communities where the public schools have been devastated or demolished by powerful wind, floods and gunfights.  During the first few months of the Education and Entrepreneurship for Peace program, incoming funds have been limited.  However, AAI has leveraged funds from Global Giving to pay for the cost of organizing and distributing 67,000 textbooks donated by partner NGOs in California.  The value of the two 40-foot containers of  educational reading m aterials that serve chldren and youth from pre-school to college, is more than $1 million dollars.  In addition, AAI and our partners from One World Institute and the International Pharmaceuticals Incorporated Foundation are assisted the rebuilding and revitalizing of selected public elementary and high schools in the Visayas region.  In Sulu,  to overcome violent crime and poverty, AAI has adopted the 3,000 student Hadjibutu High School of Trade and Arts to promote vocation and traditional craftmanship, as well as mechanics, boatbuilding and other means of earning a living.  The school is currently falling apart, with no books, or even chalkboard, few desks or chairs and tools that date back to World War I.  We have made Hadjibutu HS the first priority for the Library Hub program in the Muslim Autonomous Region of Mindanao. 

Recent reports of child trafficking and child soldiers in the devastated areas of the Philippines have been heartbreaking. We cannot accept that type of human degradation.  We are countering with educational and livelihood support.   Principal Lulu Mayo of Maindang Elementary School in Cuartero village of Capiz District in Visayas told AAI:  "The revitalization of our schools is the heart of the recovery for our entire community.  Your programs encourage people not to give up. We are all uplifted because our 1,200 child scholars will have a future and that proves we have not been forgotten."  

Backed by our extended donor community of Global Giving, the partnership teams of AAI, OWI and IPI Foundation are happy to do our part to turn Hope into true Action.  We have deep appreciation for our donors.  May God bless you all.

Lourdes Damazo with school child in Borongan
Lourdes Damazo with school child in Borongan
Maidang Elementary in Batad damaged by typhoon
Maidang Elementary in Batad damaged by typhoon
residents of Samar and Panay survive in ruins
residents of Samar and Panay survive in ruins
Boat building craftsman creates fishing craft
Boat building craftsman creates fishing craft
first pallet of school textbooks arrive
first pallet of school textbooks arrive
AAI Director Santoli at Jolo, Sulu Vocational  HS
AAI Director Santoli at Jolo, Sulu Vocational HS

Links:

Jan 13, 2014

Leveraging Donations to Help Children with Rare Diseases Stay Alive

AAI Pres Al Santoli with Pauline and Mom at NIH
AAI Pres Al Santoli with Pauline and Mom at NIH

During the last Quarter of 2013, the Philippines was overwhelmed with natural disasters including a major earthquake, outbreaks of dengue fever, leptospirosis plague in post-flood sewage, a lethal strain of measles and the most powerful typhoons in recent history, as well as armed conflict and ethnic cleansing in Zamboanga city.  Due to the dramatic number of historic crises, it is extremely difficult to raise funds for chronic illness programs such as cancer and genetic disorders.  We receive no government grants or funds or communication from the US embassy.  In fact, AAI received less than $850 for the Art of Hope and Healing Program supported by Global Giving donors during September through November.   Although AAI  worked to save lives in conducting emergency relief, we did not abandone our women and children patients Leveragingwith lethal chronic illnesses.  Thanks to our wonderful partners at KrebsAllianz in Germany, the National Cancer Coalition in Florida, and the Department of Health and National Insitutes of Health and the Philippine Cancer Society in Manila, medicines and medical treatment are available. With funds from compassionate Global Giving donors, during September to November 2013 we we were able to transform $850 in cash into more than $169,500 in rare donated medicines such as Cerezyme and Myozyme to keep alive children with gentic diseases such as Pompe and Gaucher and provide backup for the medical exams of women with breast cancer.

We work with the Institute of Human Genetics (IHG) which is one of the service and research oriented institutes of the National Institutes of Health-University of the Philippines Manila (NIH-UP) that specializes in "orphan diseases."   Currently, at least six bright and beautiful children who come from families under the poverty line who require monthly injections of these gene replacement medicines to survive are alive thanks to you!!  Dr. Mary Anne Chiong, MD, a specialist at the Insitute of Human Genetics says, "The medicines provided by the Asia America Inititaive have made the difference in the surivial of our children with Gaucher and Pompe diseases who would not live beyond the age of 12."

Our donors are persons with modest incomes or resources, yet you have done your part to prove there is kindness in this difficult world.  I cannot put into adequate words the gratitude the medical staff, the patients and their families all feel toward you for your simple but profound acts of caring.  God bless all who have assisted.

At Infant Jesus Hospital NIH treatment ward
At Infant Jesus Hospital NIH treatment ward
Cancer meds donated by AAI to Veterans Hospital
Cancer meds donated by AAI to Veterans Hospital
Little Pauline was terminal when we first met 2010
Little Pauline was terminal when we first met 2010
cerezyme genetic replacement
cerezyme genetic replacement
patient screening at Phil Cancer Society
patient screening at Phil Cancer Society

Links:

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