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.
Feb 9, 2016

Clean Water & School Meals Overcome Trauma of War

Rainwater tank at Sahaya Elementary School
Rainwater tank at Sahaya Elementary School

Global Giving donors have made clean water possible for 600 Muslim and Christian children in three elementary schools in the war torn islands of Sulu, in the southern Philippines. The funding of Asia America Initiative’s Holiday Cheer: Clean Water for 600 Children[Project #22504]has brought hope and joy despite intensified military combat operations against local gangs who claim allegiance to the ISIS terror movement’s growing influence across Southeast Asia  To the contrary, kindness and love shown through the 500 gallon shiny blue water tanks and colorful plastic wash basins is a strong counter to extremists hateful propaganda. These gifts of basic items needed for survival assure traumatized children and their communities that the world has not forgotten them, no matter our various religious beliefs. 

This micro project provides the most essential source of life – clean water. It was created as a micro-project under the Asia America Initiative [AAI] umbrella program, “Uniting Inter-Faith Children Through Education and Clean Water” [Project #20175], which is still eligible to receive funds on Global Giving’s web site.  

The program provides equal care and comfort to children regardless of their culture or religion.  It fortifies their health and provides meaning to the importance of peace to build progress.  At a time when extremist and terrorist groups are seeking to recruit young children, offering  them only hatred and the culture of violence, we continue to promote good health and a positive attitude.  Each water tank in the program is a symbol of life through friendship. 

Ms. Jenny Usman is a 6th grade teacher at Sahaya, and also is the mother of a 4th grade student.  “It heartwarming to receive this support from our friends across the ocean,” she says.  “It feels great, knowing that your children wash their hands with clean water. You don't have to worry about the well-being of our children in school.  Clean water prevents illness and improves school attendance.  And the children are so excited every time we have feeding”.

In addition to the water tanks, AAI provides rubber hoses and water purification filters to enable teachers and parents to teach children good hygiene habits.  By providing potable water for handwashing and drinking, students are in school every day are not in danger of water-borne illnesses. Plastic pails provide irrigation for vegetable gardens to enhance daily school lunches where Mothers prepare nutritious meals cooked on site. Weekly menus include chicken and vegetable soup and boiled rice.  As part of their "home economic" classes, children assist their moms to prepare meals.

Sahaya school matriarch Dr. Amy Malbun states, "During the current school year, since AAI helped us purchase the rainwater tank, our students' performance and health has improved and they love to come to school."  

Thank you again, Global Giving Community!

Students lining up to fill wash basins at Sahaya
Students lining up to fill wash basins at Sahaya
Hand washing is daily routine at Sahaya Elementary
Hand washing is daily routine at Sahaya Elementary
New wash basins at Sahaya Elementary
New wash basins at Sahaya Elementary
Kindergarten teacher assists student wash hands
Kindergarten teacher assists student wash hands
Moms make lunch for all children in the school
Moms make lunch for all children in the school

Links:

Feb 2, 2016

Water = Life + Hope for Kids in Mindanao War Zone

Happy Kasambuhan students: lunch and clean water
Happy Kasambuhan students: lunch and clean water

Water = Life and Hope for Kids in Mindanao War Zone

Armed conflict, especially in the Mindanao region of the Philippines, seldom takes a holiday. In the Sulu Province, cycles of violence have obstructed health and education programs for decades, making these “islands of fear” among the poorest communities in the world.  Thanks to Global Giving donors, during the last month of 2015, our Asia America Initiative [AAI] team was able to deliver new life to hundreds of children through our health, nutrition and clean water programs in at least two dozen elementary and secondary schools.  The full funding of AAI microproject #22910 “Clean Water and Hygiene for 150 Children in Mindanao” has enabled us to assist 274 children at Kasambuhan Village Elementary School . This is almost double our original target of 150 children who we wished to assist.

 Kasambuhan Village is located on the edge of the feared Indanan District rural war zone.  During 2015, Jolo island residents were victimized by Muslim on Muslim kidnappings, including school teachers and young students.  This has instilled an intensified climate of fear.  Worse, a shadowy presence has emerged of foreign extremists and a merciless minority of local boys who claim to be associated with the ISIS Middle East terrorists.  As a result, the roar of Philippine Army artillery shatters the night silence and disrupts the sleep of children, most of whose families are too impoverished to buy them stuffed toys to relieve their nightmares and fear. 

 AAI has responded by partnering with hard-working local community leaders to provide water for clean hands, sustenance by growing healthy vegetables in the school garden and tasty daily meals consisting of large pots of soups and stews cooked by Moms and teachers.  We have doubled our goal of 150 through the united effort  of international donors and local leaders who assert their dignity by providing labor and additional tools and gardening seeds to provide for the basic needs to their children. 

We have stood in defiance of terrorists and extreme mongers of hate through the “people power” of Global Giving donors.  This is appreciated by the Sulu community that the AAI-Global Giving partners are people of diverse ethnic and religious traditions who provide funds needed to realize their success.  Through this program, we are together as a global symbol for peace.  We share a common aim to address the basic human needs of the youngest and most vulnerable members of all societies – the children. 

Kasambuhan Village Elementary principal, Ms. Nur-Aisha Gonzalez says, “When we all work together, our religions and native languages do not divide us. The beauty of this program is that everyone is respected, no matter if they are rich or poor.  Besides the assistance to prevent children from becoming ill from unclean water and to grow the vegetables in the garden o stop hunger, the friendship of donors means very much to us.  We are not forgotten.”

Although this project is already funded, as ISIS pushes into the region, there remain at least 100 elementary schools in Sulu that need our support.  Global Giving donors are welcome to contribute to Asia America Project  # 20175 “Unite Inter-Faith Children via Education and Water.”

No donation is too small.  We deeply appreciate your support.

water tank filled with rain water at AAI schools
water tank filled with rain water at AAI schools
Clean water assures healthy veggie soup with rice
Clean water assures healthy veggie soup with rice
AAI bowls and hoses for clean water and meals
AAI bowls and hoses for clean water and meals
School garden at Kasambuhan Elementary
School garden at Kasambuhan Elementary
Clean water helps eliminate malnutrition, hunger
Clean water helps eliminate malnutrition, hunger
Kinder class served healthy lunch & clean water
Kinder class served healthy lunch & clean water

Links:

Dec 30, 2015

Holiday Cheer: Clean Water for 600 Children

First Grade children washing at Sahaya Elementary
First Grade children washing at Sahaya Elementary

Holiday Cheer to our Global Giving donors who have made clean water possible for 600 Muslim and Christian children in four elmentary schools in the Mindanao region of the Philippines.  This micro project supported better health for four additional schools under the AAI  umbrella program of Building Peace by Uniting Interr-Faith Children Through Education and Clean Water.  It was completely funded in less than three weeks.  I will be in Mindanao in mid-February 2016 to oversee and document the completion of the clean water systems.and hand washing facility being built by parents and other volunteers.  

This effort of providing equal care and comfort to these multi-cultural children in a severely impoverished and violence torn region sets an example of peace and instills confidence that they are not forgotten.  At a time when extremist and terrorist groups are seeking to recruit  young children, we continue to promote good health and a positive attitude to keep our communities actively engaged in education.  While  radical groups promote destruction and hatred, AAI's programs are a celebration of life and friendship. 

We are offering donors one more end-of-year opportunity to help us puirchase a water tank and hygiene facilities for one more school with 150 children -- Global Giving Project #22910 --  https://www.globalgiving.org/microprojects/clean-water-and-hygiene-for-150-children-in-mindanao 

We invite you to inform your friends that this opportunity for positive action is available for their participation. Every contribution maters.

We thank you for your kindness. 

Teacher instructing kids on value of soap
Teacher instructing kids on value of soap
Students practice hygiene at Sahaya Elementary
Students practice hygiene at Sahaya Elementary
Brushing Teeth at school
Brushing Teeth at school
Teeth brushing is becoming a health movement
Teeth brushing is becoming a health movement

Links:

 

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