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.
Dec 29, 2016

Bridges of Peace between Christian and Muslims Through Shared Schools

Honor student receives award from Mom and Teacher
Honor student receives award from Mom and Teacher

In the Philippines today, in the last weeks of 2016, tension is mounting between Muslim and Christian communities fueled by a war on drugs by the government which has claimed an estimated 6,000 lives and has fueled a climate of vigilante reprisals throughout the country.  In addition, a confused peace process between the government and rebel armed groups has left the potential for true peace and social/ economic progress in peril.  More than 150,000 people - at least half are infants and children -- are internally displaced from their homes due to rebel attacks and military operations.  Another 126,000 are displaced after their homes were destroyed in recent devastating typhoon storms. Basic human needs such as clean water and basic nutrition remain in a state of peril.  As a result, Asia America initiative has stepped up the pace of our work to build cooperation and shared reconstruction between people of all faiths and cultures.

Asia America Initiative operates in some of the most deprived and violent areas of the Philippines.  Our message of mediation and building for a better future is based on total community involvement.  Our centers of peace and self-reliance are through local "Models of Excellence and Peace" public and private schools, which are usually politically neutral and cater to all families in the school district.  We provide modest funds to jump-start and sustain programs emphasizing food, clean water and educational books and classroom supplies.  Parents and local residents add to our funding for materials and provide the volunteer labor needed to repair damaged facilities, grow, school gardens and Moms cook school lunches.  School nurses train "Mini-Nurses" in 5th and 6th grade to be all around helpers of their fellow students.

Last November 25, 2016, the School Supervisor of Indanan District, Mr Moore Ladjahali coordinated with AAI to instruct school heads and nurses how equal distribution of AAI first aid medicines assistance would be distributed to 18 elementary schools in Indanan South District.  Supervisor Moore says: "At the meeting the school nurses expressed appreciation and gratitude for the unselfish adoption of AAI for all schools in the District without bias or prejudice. To assure success of the program, certain requirements must be followed like the designation of authorized persons to receive the funds, usually school heads or school nurses. The purspose of the requirements are to officially identify the total number of learners actually enrolled in the schools so that equal distribution of the first aid medicines would be realized. For accountability and oversight, either the school head or school nurse may receive the monetary assistance and keep records on the number of children who are attended to.”

During the last week of 2016, in order to expand our “Peace Zones” that surround each school, we ask for our donors and new friends to please consider our efforts to set an example of hope and cooperation.  Providing children with adequate food, basic health needs and clean water is a great first step!  We thank you for your previous support.  May you all be blessed in 2017.

Lunch cooked by Moms in a Duenas Elementary School
Lunch cooked by Moms in a Duenas Elementary School
Water tank from AAI at Sheikh Mustafa ES, Sulu
Water tank from AAI at Sheikh Mustafa ES, Sulu
Local Priests leads prayers in Visayan 3rd Grade
Local Priests leads prayers in Visayan 3rd Grade
5,000 new school books sent by AAI since January
5,000 new school books sent by AAI since January
Salih Yusah ES  garden made by teachers & parents
Salih Yusah ES garden made by teachers & parents
New water tank at Salih Yusah ES nourishes garden
New water tank at Salih Yusah ES nourishes garden
Graduation Day at Sahaya
Graduation Day at Sahaya

Links:

Dec 27, 2016

Kids with Cancer - Healing with Love and Laughter

Distributing AAI toys on pediatric cancer ward
Distributing AAI toys on pediatric cancer ward

Christmas eve of 2016 was a wondrous time for more than 100 children undergoing cancer treatment at House of Hope in Davao, Philippines and their families. Many come from surrounding provinces where indigent farm laborers have been victimized by cancer-causing chemicals sprayed in the agriculture fields. Other children were born with leukemia and lymphoma. The small but overcrowded center, attached to a government hospital in Davao, is the only treatment facility for more than 2,000 such children between infancy and teenage years.  While medicines are provided by the Davao government, other necessities must be provided by private organizations and volunteers, who range from elementary school students to senior citizens.  Overseas humanitarian organizations such as Asia America Initiative and One World Institute help to cover the cost of essential materials such as ward decorations, story- and coloring books, games and toys.  Most of the children have never owned a toy due to their family's poverty.  "It is a true blessing to be able to assist these children," says Pidot Villocino, the volunteer coordinator for the AAI-OWI assistance programs at House of Hope. "Their smiles are truly genuine."

This Christmas season a series of parties and toy distributions at House of Hope were created by Asia America Initiative, partners in Davao and the One World Institute. AAI is a "peacebuilding and educational" organization by official definition. Some people might say, "It is not our job."  But we cannot ignore the needs of children with life-threatening diseases. Although we are not medical professionals, we understand that laughter and joy not only help children undergoing chemotherapy with courage and a stuffed animal to be their friend when they are in pain and alone. We have witnessed that sometimes laughter and joy are as important as medicine to generate the mental and physical healing of cancer that medical doctors cannot explain.  We believe that miracles can be sparked by kindness and love.  

Thanks to our Global Giving donors, we continue monthly nutrition and supplemental medicines for children with rare diseases in Manila through the Philippine Society for Orphan Disorders all year round.  And this week, in addition to the Christmas toys to assist more than 300 kids at House of Hope, we ask that you not forget to assist us and please donate through our main Cancer Treatment Project #8496 on Global Giving's website. Your support especially helps during the last week of 2016 so that we are "powered-up" to continue and expand our work with these great kids during 2017!! 

Christmas Eve party at House of Hope
Christmas Eve party at House of Hope
Volunteers of all ages at House of Hope
Volunteers of all ages at House of Hope
under chemo therapy. comfort from stuffed toy
under chemo therapy. comfort from stuffed toy
baby under care at House of Hope
baby under care at House of Hope
boy undergoing chemo with Mom and stuffed toy
boy undergoing chemo with Mom and stuffed toy

Links:

Dec 14, 2016

Rebuilding After Flood is Community Success

December, 2016 has been a joyful time in Asia America Initiative's eight model elementary schools in the Visayas Region of the Philippines.  Just three years ago, in November 2013, the region was devastated by Typhoon Haiyan, the largest super storm in modern history.  Millions of people were living in temporary shelters and hundreds of schools and public health facilities damaged beyond repair.  Everyone on site, whether in local government or the international humanitarian community was shocked and unprepared for the intensity of the storm.  Most agencies received funding for only a short period of program life.  To make matters worse, corrupt government officials squandered millions of dollars of international assistance funds.  Asia America Initiative's local staff and US-based director saw that at least a four year plan would be needed with more and more responsibility for recovery shifting from foreign charitable assistance to the talent and labor by local community leaders and residents. 

We determined that the job of AAI is to instill confidence by not walking away.  We learned to compensate for scarce funds by setting a good example of accountability, oversite and strict budgeting.  The results in the Districts of Duenas, Iloilo and Cuartero, Capiz have been outstanding.  In AAI's schools, libraries of donated books have compensated for destroyed learning materials, daily lunch programs led by parents and teachers have led to full attendance. Wholesale athletic equipment has inspired championship athletic performances. Clean water systems built by parents and neighbors has dramatically improved health and hygiene.  Our success is a fusion of global and local effort.

Principal Luz Mayo Roxas at Angub Elementary School in Cuartero has both Filipino and rural mountain tribal children in her classrooms.  Everyone is treated equally and eats together every day as a big family, with Mothers and grandmothers doing the cooking and serving. Even before the great storm, these communities were largely underserved and forgotten by the rest of society.  Principal Roxas says, "It has been the partnership between our schools here in Cuartero with AAI and your donors that has made a great boost to our success. Last month we received stuff toys from AAI to rewards our honor pupils from third up to first honors in math, science and spelling.

“God is our great healer.  But God will especially bless those people whose hearts whose have the fruits of the Spirit by their giving to children in need.  Our division was happy for the provision of books because we use them for teachers' references and fun activities for the children. We have also seen a significant improvement in students' attendance and classroom work due to the free feeding which very helpful for our children.  The gardens with seeds from AAI and local farmers have made school lunches affordable and reduced malnutrition from over half of our pupils to practically none who have empty stomachs today."

“All of us are praying  that your program will not end.  These gifts are a great help for me as a principal and for our teachers.  This is a great motivator for the Filipino children who are aware enough to be inspired by good samaritans who extend their help to those who are in need.  We will never forget your kindness.”  

Grandma Serves School Lunch
Grandma Serves School Lunch
Reading Class with AAI donated books
Reading Class with AAI donated books
Star Wars Books in 3-D at Carataya Elementary
Star Wars Books in 3-D at Carataya Elementary
6th Grade 1st Prize winner in Plant Science
6th Grade 1st Prize winner in Plant Science
Boy Scouts clean yard at Maindang Elementary
Boy Scouts clean yard at Maindang Elementary
Girl Scout troop at Bulak Elementary SChool
Girl Scout troop at Bulak Elementary SChool

Links:

 
   

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