In April 2015, the second batch of 11 Asia America Initiative/One World Institute college scholars will graduate from Eastern Visayas State University near Tacloban Philippines. All of the scholarship students had their lives disrupted by Typhoon Haiyan, which is considered by the United Nations as the largest Pacific-based storm ever recorded. As part of the recovery process, Asia America Initiative backed by GlobalGiving donors assured that 27 juniors and seniors would have their tuition and other fees paid for so they could complete their educations and assist with the rebuilding of their communities. We welcome our extended community of donors to views a very joyful short video of the 2011 graduate ceremony of the first 16 scholars. It is a heart warming experience that is a testimony to the strength of our shared human spirits and the power of friendship. We congratulate the teachers and mentors at VSU for inspiring our students. And we thank all donors who helped to make this achievement possible.
Please use this link to AAI's web site where the video is located.
AAI & OWI Eastern Visayas State University Scholars Video
Following Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines in November 2013, thousands of college students in the Visayas region faced a life-altering dilemna: Their homes and families' savings were devastated by the massive destruction caused by the flooding, storm surge tsunamis and raging 200 mph winds. They were doubtful they could afford to pay tuition and fees for graduation. A consortium of non-profit organizations and philanthropists, including Asia America Initiative, formed a network to assure that at least 30 to 40 scholars at Visayas University in Leyte could overcome their families' misfortune and finish their targeted graduation on schedule. The scholastic achievements of the Bright Future Scholars would be a morale booster and symbol of hope for their home communities.Thanks to a little help to AAI from Global Giving donors, we assisted some 20 scholars graduate in the Spring of 2014. As we enter 2015, another 11 Bright Future seniors -- 7 females and 4 males -- at VSU are entering their final semester to qualify for bachelor of Science Degrees in Agriculture/ Botany; Chemistry; Finance, Civil Engineering and School Teaching.In the recent Global Giving "Haiyan Matching Fund" campaign, AAIraised close to $200 which will assist 3 of the scholars to cover the cost of their final examinations required for graduation. The three students will be earning Bachelor of Science degrees in Agriculture, Education and Civil Engineering. All of these fields are vital for the long term rebuilding of storm-damaged communities. Dr. Yolanda Ortega Stern, an education and community economics specialist is President of One World Institute, a consortium partner in the Bright Future Scholars program, She says, "The achievement of the scholars has been an inspiration to their families ansd communities, which are largely agriculture based. The support from people they have never met has inspired everyone in the surrounding communities where the scholars live to keep their heads held high and keep up their efforts to persevere in the wake of the storm. We are very grateful to all of our donors who have enabled us to keep our promises and sustain this academic effort."On behalf of the Bright Futures team members and beneficiaries, we send our sincere appreciation and wish many blessings and happiness to all of our contributors in the New Year!
Asia America Initiative is pleased to announce to our donors who contributed to "Support Typhoon Survivors to Finish College" that we have met our goal to cover the cost of the education of the 25 youths who qualified for 2014 and 2015 graduation. The juniors and seniors were accepted into the Bright Futures Scholars program at Visayas State University in Ormoc, near the epicenter of the November 2013 typhoon in the Philippines. Girls and boys, they are studying a range of subjects such as agriculture, nursing, computer science, and food management. The scholars and their College Administrators have already received the funds needed to complete their college education and are properly accounting for all resources.
Our Global Giving community of donors contributed 15 percent of the total needed, an additional 25 percent came from corporations who adopted AAI's typhoon recovery programs through Global Giving. The remaining 60 percent came through a consortium of individual benefactors and non-profit charitable organizations such as IPI Foundation and One World Institute. Needless to say, service providers and the scholars are incredibly grateful to you all.
The scholarships represent hope of recovery to rebuild lives caused by the massive storrn, floods and devastation to millions of lives during and after Typhoon Haiyan. More than a million people remain homeless and more than a million others struggle to rebuild their lives in the Visayas area. During recent recent weeks steady hard rain from a series of monsoon storms continues to cause misery and slow the process of recovery. AAI and our partners are pleased to be part of the organizations, local and international, of all shapes and sizes, who contunue to try our best to assist those in need. We could not do it without kind and generous donors from around the world. No amount is too small. We are blessed because it comes from your hearts.
Thank you again for your kindness. May God bless you all.
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.
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