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.
Jul 9, 2014

"Surges of Hope" in Philippines: Operation Save Lives continues

Gomeri Elementary School in Batad, Iloilo
Gomeri Elementary School in Batad, Iloilo

Asia America Initiative continues to assist communities rebuilding their lives in areas devastated by the world's mist powerful storms of 2013.  Thse environment is complicated by continuous heavy rain in June and July, 2014.  Tides are high and fast, creating jeopardy for fishermen.  Upland farmers have to cope with soaked fields.  Many schools still lack roofs and adequate classrooms. Thousands of families still live in tents and sleep on mud floors.  Yet AAI's Operation Save Lives surges forward.  With the assistance of our local partners One World Institute and IPI Foundation and volunteers and the "sweat equity" of local teachers and parents -- and thanks to our international donors through Global Giving --  we continue our Surge of Hope!!  Since November 2013, with support from donors from all around the world, we have assisted more than 120,000 people. 

Among our current programs, we are providing Public health and hygiene supplies to at least six communities  and serving more than 10,000 persons between Iloilo and Capiz, on Panay mega island in Visayas.  We are providing school nutrition and clean water instruments to villages and schools along the coast of Iloilo.  This includes providing school supplies and books and rubber floor tents to schools in the area serving more than 3,000 pupils.  Due to the generosity of our donors,we have provided medical support for senior citizens, especially grandparents, across the region.  

Bulak Elemenrtary School in Batad, Iloilo  was knocked down by a giant tsunami surge wave in November 2013.  The commun ity did not know how they could recover.   A senior 6th grade teacher says, "We are so happy to have received many new reading and text books for our school library from AAI.   Also nutritious meals, tents and even a fund for materials needed for student's fathers to renovate school buildings.  We are surprised by what is being given to us like more efficient toilets. We are grateful for your kindness.  We would like to show the World that you are the people who helped us. We are so fortunate.  God bless you all."

Children in "hobbit tents" at Bulak, Elmentary,
Children in "hobbit tents" at Bulak, Elmentary,
AAI Team Elsa Visayas
AAI Team Elsa Visayas
AAI warehouse of school supplies Iloilo
AAI warehouse of school supplies Iloilo
AAI Operation save lives, Capiz  6-28-14
AAI Operation save lives, Capiz 6-28-14
AAI - 1 World Inst - IPI Fdtn Book Project 7-1-14
AAI - 1 World Inst - IPI Fdtn Book Project 7-1-14

Links:

Jun 25, 2014

Education + Livelihood = Hope

AAI scholar Fatima Jean Dimas graduates cum laude
AAI scholar Fatima Jean Dimas graduates cum laude
Two important keys to Peace and Development are education and livelihood creation. Asia America Initiative has committed to assist in the 2014-15 school year an additional  20 juniors and 20 seniors at the respected Visayas State Univerisy in historic Leyte island of the philippines to finish their college degrees with the promise from a public health corporation of employment opportunities for the graduates. In the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan, after their families lost all of their possessions, these students did not believe they could finish school and learn professional skills. Today you can support these scholars to complete their educations and rebuild their communities.Our first graduates in 2014 included a number of Cum Laude Honors award recipients.  They can be a shining success story for impacted communities, not only in the Philippines but all around the world.
Our first 20 graduates in 2014 included two young women Elisha and Fatima Jean, who graduated Cum Laude. The scholars "batch" of 2015 are also a wonderful group of young men and women.  We are fortunate that while Asia America Initiave with support from our donors at Global Giving provided funds for tuition, fees, transportation and books,Our good friend at IPI Corporation [International Pharma] and their Foundation provided mentoring trhough Ms. Lourdes Damazo as part of the scholarship program [similar to intern but in classroom setting] and the One World Institute headed by Economics Ph.D. Yolanda Stern and her husband Dr. Tom Stern, MD of Stanford University in California provided other forms of advice and coordination.  We all put aside our ego's to work unselfishly for the benefit of the students.  At the end of the first seme4ster of the program 20 out of 20 scholars graduated and are now preparing for jobs.
Many students at VSU are the children of subsistance farmers and fishermen.  One scholar, Daniel, age 21, comes from a rural farming area of Leyte.  At graduation ceremony at VSU explained, "My family lost everything, and I have only one parent...  so I was struggling to find a way to finish the last year of my education. I had no one to turn to.  I feel inexpressable happoiness bcause now I have proved that we can overcome life's adversity with the encouragement and help of friends -- even if they are strangers who have not ever met me or my mother.  Thanks to the bright Scholars program I can believe in having a future." 
Another student, Elisha, 20, who became a Cum laude graduate stated, "I cried eery day becausse I did not even have 10 pesos [25 cents] to pay for the cost of a bicycle tazxi to get to my school each day.  I could not believe when Ms. Lourdes and our College President announced that last year students would be chosen based on their grades ansd charactser to become Bright Future Scholars.  I want to thank every perrson overseas who donated to me so I can now work and make enough pay to help feed my family."
VSU President, Dr. Jose Bacusmo thanks everyone who assisted, adding, "After the huge storm we did not know how a number of our excellent students could afford to finish schools due to their families and communities devasation, not even having houses to live in... not even tents.  Our heartfelt joy is expressed every day.  This scholarship program is beyond our most impossible dreams."
Dear Donors:  The educators and students at VSU are a shining example for the wortld.  They cannot do it alone.  WE can do this together.
Commencement ceremony at VSU -- overcoming typhoon
Commencement ceremony at VSU -- overcoming typhoon
Bright Futures Scholars all present and achieving
Bright Futures Scholars all present and achieving
Ms. Lourdes, Elisha and VSU advisor
Ms. Lourdes, Elisha and VSU advisor
scholars 2014 batch on VSU campus
scholars 2014 batch on VSU campus
scholars with mentor Ms. Lourdes
scholars with mentor Ms. Lourdes

Links:

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:

donate now:

Make a monthly recurring donation on your credit card. You can cancel at any time.
Make a donation in honor or memory of:
What kind of card would you like to send?
How much would you like to donate?
  • $
    give
gift Make this donation a gift, in honor of, or in memory of someone?

Reviews of Asia America Initiative

Great Nonprofits
Read and write reviews about Asia America Initiative on GreatNonProfits.org.