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.
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:

Jan 13, 2014

Protecting Survivors of Typhoons from Trafficking

Assisting Bopha survivors in Jade Valley,  Davao
Assisting Bopha survivors in Jade Valley, Davao

The lack of resources for humanitarian organizations working in the Philippines is a growing crisis. For organizations such as Asia America Initiative who are working in multiple hardship areas, we are doing everything possible to stretch every dollar or peso from our compassionate GlobalGiving partners. We realize the shortcomings of official agencies but rather than complain, we are trying to set good examples of cost-effective service.  More than 1 million survivors of Typhoon Bopha in the Davao area still without stable houses or stable jobs.  They have been mostly forgotten becauses of the scope of Super Typhoon Haiyan, where more than 11 million people are without adequate shelter, including 6 million who face severe nutrition shortages and clean potable water.  We have seen wonderful examples of human kindness and unselfish teamwork. But we have also seen the worst elements of human nature. Women and children survivors of the storms and man-made disasters in the Philippines from Cebu in Visayas in the central region down to Zamboanga in the deep south are facing an additional serious danger --  human trafficking and slavery.  

As a community-focused organization, we believe solutions can be achieved by many modest organizations working in partnership.  Between September and November 2013 GlobalGiving individual donors sent AAI $715 dollars for our Typhoon Bopha relief program. To purchase food or bottles of water with that amount of cash would be like a speck of sand on a large beach. Instead, we are practicing the art of leveraging funds and sharing with partners who can maximize the impact of the funding.  In the case, our partners are One World Institute of Califonia and the Mindanao region and the Mindanao Women's Commision, Inc. of Davao.  We are using those funds to combat trafficking and slavery through livelhood opportunities, to purchase at least six sewing machines and looms to create entrepreneurial co-ops to make traditional weaving and clothing for a total of at least 30 women. Charity can never be enough.  Instead, with income earned from working they can feed their families and avoid exploitation.  We are starting with a realistic number of beneficiaries and will scale up the number, if we can increase the number of donors. The first livelihood tools are being purchased with Global Giving donor funds in January 2014.  We sincerely thank those who have contributed and look forward to your support to expand the number of women and children we can protect. Every contribution makes a difference. God bless you for your generosity.

Links:

Dec 30, 2013

Typhoon Relief Exceeds Goals: Thanks to Global Giving Donors

AAI-OWI-IPI relief team distributing food packs
AAI-OWI-IPI relief team distributing food packs

Asia America Initiative and our partner consortium of community based organizations and volunteers have surpassed our intial November 2013 goal of providing food and clean water to 5,000 families or 30,000 persons in the typhoon devasted areas of the central Philippines. We have now served 11,616 families or 58,310 persons, working into Christmas week. We thank Global Giving international donors for your kindness and life-saving generosity. We have used your funds with care and time effective missions. In this overwhelming environment of needs, we utilize our strength at AAI in acting as both service providers and as catalysts for extended teamwork.  The week before Christmas, the combined Asia America Initiative - One World Institute - IPI Foundation relief team based in Cebu and supported by Global Giving donors and corporate sponsors such as Eli Lilly, TomTom International, Dell and Gap conducted a life-saving relief mission to Leyte in communities near Tacloban. The devastation is beyond words. Malnutrition borders on starvation. Additional funds for food and water purification came from International Relief Teams in San Diego and medical supplies from Direct Relief of Santa Barbara, California and hygiene products from International Pharmaceutical Inc. of Cebu. Local people -- including many elderly men, women and children of all ages were elated --  but have no idea how they can survive in coming weeks.

During this same period, Asia America Initiative's tireless youth volunteers in Iloilo conducted training of two-dozen AAI Catalysts for Peace team leaders, including nurses and school teachers, to spread across across the Panay - Iloilo extended area where at least 500,000 people along the coast and on small islands urgently will need bi-weekly distributions of food and water until new crops can be grown and fising boats built. We provided training with life-vests to volunteers in order to survive choppy seas if any accidents occur. We are also distributing water filters and a new shipment of purification tablets that will purify more than one million gallons of muddy water.  In early January, we will be assisted by the Philippine Coast Guard to reach isolated islands with 50 to 100 families that are a one to two hour boat ride off the coast, with rough high waves slowing the time of travel.  

 Our target is self sufficiency for at least 10,000 families or 50,000 persons by April. We are providing hammers, nails and wood-working tools for survivors to rebuild their homes, fishing boats and their lives, as well as gardening tools and local seeds for nutritional sustenance.  As we enter 2014, we and the surivors of Typhoon Haiyan ask you to please not forget ourt efforts...  even a small monthly contribution of $10 or $20 will do wonders. Pictures represent many words, so we are sharing our experience with you to let you know the good you have done.  May God bless you all in the New Year.  

 

Flattened town in Leyte assisted by AAI-OWI-IPI
Flattened town in Leyte assisted by AAI-OWI-IPI
Leyte children calling for help from passersby
Leyte children calling for help from passersby
Malnourished child in makeshift shelter
Malnourished child in makeshift shelter
AAI-OWI-IPI relief truck arrives
AAI-OWI-IPI relief truck arrives
hundreds of families line up for food and water
hundreds of families line up for food and water
strong back and big heart of AAI-OWI-IPI volunteer
strong back and big heart of AAI-OWI-IPI volunteer
water filters provided to families by AAI
water filters provided to families by AAI
AAI tools for survivors to rebuild lives
AAI tools for survivors to rebuild lives

Links:

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