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Sep 18, 2019

School Gardens Teach Children Peaceful Enterprise

Schoolyard garden and forest at Salih Yusah ES
Schoolyard garden and forest at Salih Yusah ES

In the Philippines, religious conflict and natural disasters have caused suffering for millions of Filipino children. This program empowers elementary schools in regions where children are victims of natural and man-made disasters. Inter-faith education equity and building school communities as "one family" teaches students and parents the value of cooperation and diversity. We provide books, school supplies, garden tools, clean water, and hygiene soaps. We structure each school as a "Peace Zone" by supporting literacy, livelihood, gardening, and school lunches cooked by volunteer parents to enhance progress and cooperation between all members of a village or neighborhood with the elementary schools serving as mediation centers.

Our "One School/One Family" partnership program assists children in Asia America Initiative supported elementary schools in Sulu and Visayas regions. They are overcoming extreme poverty and communal violence through integrated literacy, livelihood skills, and health support. We have created a social media network for Muslim and Christian educators and children to share their new skills, hopes, and dreams. Mothers and fathers of pupils assist teachers to plant gardens, repair classrooms and cook daily meals at the schools. In turn, Asia America Initiative provides thousands of books, school supplies, garden tools, and clean water systems supported by ordinary people in the US, the Philippines and around the world through Global Giving. Rather than dependency on government officials, who are often not involved, we structure our programs with local and global humanitarian organizations, inter-faith religious groups and coordinate through educational institutions such as Mindanao State University in Jolo and Notre Dame College of Jolo. The results of these efforts builds community resiliency, independent enterprise and human progress step-by-step.

At Manilop Elementary School in rural Indanan District on Jolo island, school principal Zarr, states: "With our school gardens, in addition to improving children's nutrition, we also create a small agribusiness to purchase needed school supplies.  As schools try to have the best gardens, that creates peaceful competition between schools as well. Some pupils who were irresponsible in taking care their plants became motivated to do their tasks by seeing other children grow beautiful and healthy plants.

"This is very nice!!  Many kids may not go to college or high school. So our gardening teachers are their life mentors too. Between student government and school-based agribusiness is a positive direction for community development.  We sell at the market and re-invest 10 percent in seeds so the kids get the idea about budget and business investment without debt."

Principal Merhama of Salih Yusah, an urban elementary school, speaks for most of the school heads, "We are very grateful for the support from outside donors. We are also thankful for having supportive stakeholders who providing us fence wire for the school perimeter. With that our plants won't be eaten by the animals in the surrounding forests."

Thank you, thank you very much to everyone! Hopefully we can continue all of these efforts into the future."

Little gardener enjoys  bounty at Salih Yusah ES
Little gardener enjoys bounty at Salih Yusah ES
Wonders of nature planted by pupils and teachers
Wonders of nature planted by pupils and teachers
Garden crops at Salih Yusah ES
Garden crops at Salih Yusah ES
Rural school garden at Mukammali ES
Rural school garden at Mukammali ES
Proud principal and teachers at Mukammali ES
Proud principal and teachers at Mukammali ES
Manilop ES garden
Manilop ES garden
Children of Manilop ES becoming expert gardeners
Children of Manilop ES becoming expert gardeners
Joy of Gardening at Palan ES
Joy of Gardening at Palan ES
Gardening between school buildings in city
Gardening between school buildings in city
Parents prepare lunch daily with garden veggies
Parents prepare lunch daily with garden veggies
AAI buys schoolgarden tools, seeds and water pails
AAI buys schoolgarden tools, seeds and water pails

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Jul 31, 2019

School Water Station Enphasizes Daily Hygiene for Girls

Girls brushing their teeth at school
Girls brushing their teeth at school

Asia America Initiative thanks you for donating to our ongoing project to help girls receive nutrition, clean water, and hygiene at school.

Poverty, hunger, communal violence and limited public health plague Muslim Mindanao, Philippines. Sulu Province remains near the bottom of the UN's Human Development Index. A school-aged population of some 350,000 impoverished children -- more than half girls and 12 percent Christian -- lack clean water. Worldwide, female students are most affected in similar schools. We assist schools with a total of more than 1,000 girls, to create clean water systems, improved hygiene and daily nutrition.

At Salih Yusah ES, your donation to AAI helped build WASH facilities for girls to have daily access to clean water, soap and toothpaste. Teachers and nurses help students learn how to wash and brush properly. "The clean water has increased the attendance rate, subsequently the grade average of many pupils is higher due to to better health," says Salih Yusah Principal Merhama.

With improved water delivery at each school, we also encourage school-based gardens to provide fresh foods at each school. Salih Yusah ES has a robust urban garden with help from AAI which is used to supplement the daily lunch served at school.

Good hygiene improves children's health for better classroom performance and more days in school. Your role is essential!

If you would like to continue your support, please click on the orange "Give Now" button. Thank you!

All students have daily access to WASH facilities
All students have daily access to WASH facilities
Good hygiene ensures more days at school
Good hygiene ensures more days at school
AAI has contributed water tanks to 40 schools
AAI has contributed water tanks to 40 schools
Plastic basins suffice where faucets are lacking
Plastic basins suffice where faucets are lacking

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Jul 29, 2019

Students Plant Garden for New School Year

Students Preparing their New School Garden
Students Preparing their New School Garden

Asia America Initiative thanks you for helping students wIth seeds, tools and watering cans to prepare new school gardens which will be used for school lunches.  "Supplemental vegetables and fruits provide a balanced diet for children suffering from  various levels of malnutriition," says Doctor Anissa, head of the Nursing graduate school at Mindanao State University in Jolo, Philippines. 

Students returned for the new school year in June and began to plant their new school garden in elementary and high schools. These gardens are used to provide vegetables for the communal meal they will all share, cooked by their mothers and other school volunteers. Students, teachers and other community members bonded together to clear the garden area, prepare the soil and plant new seeds. Your donation helped AAI to purchase tools needed and seeds for the gardens.

Poverty, hunger, communal violence, and limited public health plague Muslim Mindanao, Philippines. Sulu Province remains near the bottom of the UN's worldwide Human Development Index. A school-aged population of some 350,000 children are mostly impoverished and suffering from hunger. Female students are often most affected. 

AAI’s programs, also build peace by encouraging Christian and Muslim neighbors to respect and help each other, with an emphasis on daughters and grand-daughters. AAI's equal concern for all children, regardless of religion or culture serves as a mediation bridge and a vital component of social healing. "Our inter-faith activities dispel fear and biases that alienate communities who feel alone and abandoned," says AAI Sulu coordinator Tarhata.  "Positive interaction between all girls in a school community genenerates mutual respect and friendship," says principal Nuraisha of Kasambuhan Elementary. Your role is essential!

If you would like to continue your support, please click on the orange "Give Now" button. Thank you!

Girls working with their teachers to prep garden
Girls working with their teachers to prep garden
AAI donors provide tools for student gardens
AAI donors provide tools for student gardens
AAI donations provide seeds - Thank you!
AAI donations provide seeds - Thank you!
Gardening makes lifelong friendships
Gardening makes lifelong friendships
super size veggies for school lunches
super size veggies for school lunches

Links:

 
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