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Feb 6, 2020

Sustaining Education During Disaster

Girls educated in refugee camp read story books
Girls educated in refugee camp read story books

From November 2019 into 2020 communities across the Philippines have been struck with a series of natural disasters and calamities that has made the role of Asia America Initiative as first responders imperative. At a time when such disasters are endemic across the world, our ability to provide rapid community support has been made possible by our partners like you.

We are helping families in the Central Philippines that have been devastated by 3 major and 51 minor earthquakes within a few weeks during the Christmas holiday season.  Thousands of families were made homeless.  With our NGO partners and local volunteers, AAI has provided food, clean water and hygiene supplies, as well as books and toys to assist hundreds of children in mountainous areas overlooking the city of Davao to cope with trauma. Many villages have been reduced to rubble, roads remain barely passable and towns have been damaged beyond simple repairs. Thousands of people are displaced and still live in makeshift tents along roadsides and in fields. 

Almost immediately after the devastating 6.5 earthquake, AAI empowered partners to enter affected rural areas.  The distribution of food, water, shelter, and other supplies has been necessary for survival.  We are especially sensitive to special needs of the elderly who are usually forgotten by outside aid agencies in such conditions. "A simple gesture of kindness can boost the spirts to those who have experienced life threatening disaster and have lost everything," says Ms. Lourdes who is one of our key implementers of disaster response.

AAI's mission is long term development. "For community transformation to succeed," says Ms. Lourdes, "we must stabilize communities after a disaster. We enjoy building hope and empowering communities afflicted by conflict and severe poverty."  We have learned repeatedly that peace, security, and respect for human dignity are inseparable. 

If you are able to assist families affected by the Davao earthquakes, please click on our project page. It is a blessing to have reliable GlobalGiving donors who are an important part of our extended Development Family when emergencies arise. Immediate response is crucial. Thank you! 

(If you would prefer to support monthly, GlobalGiving is offering a 100% match on your first donation.)

 

Wishing you peace,

Albert Santoli

President, Asia America Initiative

Mothers with donated food to feed their families
Mothers with donated food to feed their families
Stuffed toys cam traumatized children
Stuffed toys cam traumatized children
Partnership matters in major emergency relief
Partnership matters in major emergency relief
Supporting the needs of the elderly
Supporting the needs of the elderly
Survivor child carries a friend to safety
Survivor child carries a friend to safety

Links:

Jan 21, 2020

Focus on Psychological Healing for Children with Cancer

AAI-OWI Rep with Cancer Children
AAI-OWI Rep with Cancer Children

Asia America Initiative and our local partner distribute toys, books, and art supplies to children undergoing cancer treatment in the Southern Philippines at the House of Hope located at Southern Philippines Medical Center in Davao City, Philippines. The beauty of this center is it the only such cancer treatment facility in Mindanao, and social equity is shown to children of many ethnic and religious backgrounds.  "Kindness and love is a key part of the overall treatment regimen for the children," says our program partner, Dr. Yolanda Stern, Director of One World Institute.  "Toys and artistic mentoring by volunteer artists brings together the positive mental attitude needed for recovery from the illness and  powerful medicines made available at little to no cost for the patients."

Many people who have survived cancer and other rare diseases understand that in addition to medical care, it is the love, prayers, and kindness that comes from family, friends and strangers that is key to healing and recovery. Asia America Initiative's cancer treatment program for children and women in GlobalGiving [#8496] has assisted many impoverished children in the Philippines thanks to the generosity of our donors. In addition to the hundreds of children we assist at House of Hope at the Southern Philippines Medical Center, we have had special interventions for individual children that prove sometimes "miracles" can happen. 

In addition to support from our GlobalGiving donors and the churches and schools from middle America who donate stuffed toys that AAI ships to Davao, local government and business community members in Davao all do their part in the healing process. Volunteer teachers and mentors use our toys, books and art supplies provided by AAI to help heal the psychological trauma often experienced by the children during their long hospital stays. This is especially important for young children who need care and guidance.  It is a beautiful model of local and global "extended family" love.  Our art programs conducted in hospital wards build a joyful attitude to embrace life and value education to enhance their healing process.

Often, these children have never had a toy of their own and they become a touchstone of support as they go through their medical treatments. In 2020 we will attempt to distribute joyful gifts to the child patients every month.  Your role as contributors is essential!

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

Links:

Dec 27, 2019

Gardens are Harvested through the School Year

Kasambuhan Village ES Students - May
Kasambuhan Village ES Students - May

School gardens which supplement daily meals for children in impoverished homes are essential for good nutrition. In the Philippines, religious conflict and natural disasters have caused suffering for millions of Filipino children. This program benefits schools in regions where children are victims of natural and man-made disasters. 

Our "One School/One Family" partnership program assists children in Asia America Initiative supported elementary schools in Sulu and Visayas regions. We fight extreme poverty and communal violence through integrated literacy, livelihood skills, and health support.  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. 

Students return for the new school year in June and begin to plant their new school gardens in elementary and high schools. These gardens provide vegetables for the communal meal they will all share, cooked by mothers and other school volunteers. Students, teachers, and community members band together to clear the garden area, prepare the soil and plant new seeds. The gardens are then well-tended by students and harvested as the vegetables become ripe. As the school year progresses, everyone in the school lends a hand. The garden will continue to supplement their meals throughout the school year and in the end, many seeds will be harvested and dried for the next school year. 

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

If you would like to continue to make a difference to these communities in 2020, please click through the project report and select the orange Donate Now button. With your help, we can continue to support school gardens which are so important to students' well-being. (If you are interested in a monthly donation, GlobalGiving is even offering a 100% match!)

Clean Water, WASH & Nutrition for 500 Muslim Girls

Thank you so much for your past contribution. 

I wish you peace throughout the holiday season and in the new year.

Albert Santoli

Asia America Initiative

Students tending to garden
Students tending to garden
Student volunteers gather to plant garden
Student volunteers gather to plant garden
A school garden must be well tended
A school garden must be well tended
School principals harvest along with students
School principals harvest along with students
Teaching students how to harvest plants
Teaching students how to harvest plants
Manilop ES students gather to harvest
Manilop ES students gather to harvest
Beach buckets and shovels assist gardeners
Beach buckets and shovels assist gardeners

Links:

 
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