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.
Jun 7, 2016

In Sulu, Muslim nurses surpass goals and inspire

New Nursing graduate w friend at Sulu State Coll
New Nursing graduate w friend at Sulu State Coll

 

Muslim women and girls around the world are often denied the opportunity to receive a quality education and to develop professional skills to help fix social and economic needs in their communities. At Sulu State College, in the Philippines, the School of Nursing has provided such opportunity. Asia America Initiative team is pleased that our program to support 50 Muslim Girls to attend the school has surpassed our goals. Our program provides quality education for female students to achieve their dreams.  

The SSC Nursing School class of 2015-16 included 63 graduates. The majority are female. During the second of week of June, twenty-two recent graduates will undergo their national exam to qualify for a professional license, with the remainder taking the test in a few months. The new senior class of 2016-17 includes more than 40 students who are utilizing textbooks, classroom equipment and clinical supplies provided by Asia America Initiative.  Funds were provided by our Global Giving donors.

Sulu province has long been listed by United Nations agencies as among the most under-developed areas in the world.  More than one million people reside on 125 islands in Sulu archipelago, but there is only one multi-service public hospital.  SSC has one of only two nursing schools in the entire province.  

School Director, Nurse Frissida Daud has led a resurgence in students’ performance.  However, many students struggle to complete their studies due to poverty and instability. A respected senior educator in Sulu, Dr. Amy Malbun, former Superintendent of Schools in Sulu, says: "What the AAI program is doing for indigent youth who attend SSC is to provide them with a chance to get a quality education in a profession vital to the overall province well-being."  

The college has suffered from the support from government. Between 2008-2010, the school’s students had less than a 30% pass rate in the National Nursing Exam—arguably the least satisfactory rate in the entire country. In November of 2015, after one year of the SSC and AAI program, there was a dramatic turnaround.  An 84% National Exam passing rate by SSC nursing students was among the highest in the country. 

We are committed to continue supporting SSC nursing students with their basic educational needs, classroom materials, graduation fees and the cost of licensing exams, AAI is not only showing confidence in students and teachers as individuals but demonstrating potential success for Muslim women around the world. School Director, Nurse Frissida says, "Support from AAI and your donors means a great deal to us. Your generosity creates a positive attitude our girls need to overcome challenges and sustain success in their studies.”

Student Nurse in class at Sulu State College
Student Nurse in class at Sulu State College
Sulu nursing graduates taking oath of service
Sulu nursing graduates taking oath of service
Equal education opportunity at Sulu State College
Equal education opportunity at Sulu State College
Nursing class at SSC with instructors and advisors
Nursing class at SSC with instructors and advisors
SSC  nursing students enjoy their friendship
SSC nursing students enjoy their friendship
"It
"It's a nurse thing."

Links:

May 17, 2016

Save One Life and You Save the World

Baby Brielle
Baby Brielle

There is a wise proverb stated in many cultures that reminds us,"Save One Person and You Save the World." That attitude can especially be applied to the partnership between Asia America Initiative, Global Giving and the Philippine Society for Orphan Disorders [PSOD] in Manila. What began in 2008 as a small spontaneous act of kindness to save the lives of 20 children and 30 impoverished women from cancer has grown into a model for supporting the medical treament of hundreds of children born with rare genetic illnesses. This heartfelt partnership includes medical professionals, pharmaceutical companies, parent and student volunteers and a wonderful over-worked  PSOD coordination staff who helped to shape a sucessful campaign to create a first-ever "Persons with Disability Act" authored by the Philippine Congress.  It was signed into law by the Executive Branch in March 2016.  This law may assist thousands of adults and children with disabilities to have access to medicines previously beyond their families' budgets.  AAI, through our Global Giving donors maintains essential support for nutritional supplements, donated clinical supplies and the cost of required medical tests.

"We thank AAI and your donors for your continuous support," says Janet Fransisco a PSOD coodinator. "The law has been signed, but there is still a lot of work to do before the rules are fully implemented.  We still are raising funds for the supportive care for the children, such as the milk, vitamins and essential medical devices such as ventilators, suction machines, wheelchairs and diagnostic monitoring of the children."

Each child we assist to overcome a life threatening disease is a symbol of hope to their communities in a country where 36 percent of the people struggle below the poverty line and an equal number barely earn a living wage. One of our newest children is 3 year old "Baby Brielle" who was born with a rare disease called "Alagille Syndrome" which can damage the heart,kidney or liver.  Brielle desperately needs a liver transplant within the next three months in order to survive.  She has found a matching donor --  her mother -- who will share part of her own liver to save her daughter.  As always, the cost of the surgery and pre and post operative care is far more than her family can afford.  AAI will start a micro-project to save"Baby Brielle" by reaching out to our Global Giving donors. We are in a partnership with other charitable organizations to cover the costs and other essential needs to complete this process.  Dr. Tom Stern, MD in San Francisco says, "Alagille Syndrome is one of the most difficult conditions a child can have. Many charitable medical centers do not have the precious resources [due to being overwhelmed with many children who have urgent needs]."

AAI believes that making every possible effort to save this one child's life can "help save the world." We invite you to contribute whatever you can afford to our "Baby Brielle" micro-project campaign.  You have our sincere gratitude for your payers and your contributions.

Persons with Disabilities Act celebrated
Persons with Disabilities Act celebrated
PSOD staff briefing government health officials
PSOD staff briefing government health officials
child of psod care with her mother
child of psod care with her mother

Links:

Apr 20, 2016

Nutrition and Clean Water Builds Peace

Water tank bought by AAI at Poblacion ES, Mindanao
Water tank bought by AAI at Poblacion ES, Mindanao

In the Philippines, religious conflict and natural disasters like Typhoon Haiyan and the increase in inter-ethnic and tribal armed conflict during 2015-16 have caused suffering of millions of Filipino children. Asia America Initiative, with local Christian, Muslim and Mountain tribal staff in the central and southern Philippines is providing essential food and water assistance, where government has failed. Thanks to GlobalGiving donors and personal friends, we are empowering elementary schools in regions where children are victims of natural and man-made disasters. Inter-faith community efforts teach students and their parents the value of cooperation. We provide clean water and hygiene tools. We support literacy, livelihood, gardening, and school lunches by parents to enhance health, economic progress and peace.

"It is an amazing process," says Principal uz Roxas at Angub Elementary School, where desperately impoverished mountain tribal children are "skinny as toothpicks." The region is struggling with a harsh period of El Nino drought and lack of rainfall, occasionally interrupted by fierce monsoon floods.  As a result, fresh food is destroyed in the fields. Children lack rubber sandals and yet walk 2 to 3 miles to school each day.  Mothers are cooking lunch on school premises with funds from AAI and our GlobalGiving Donors. The Catholic Filipino and mountain tribal children have formed a large extended family at the school. Two out of four top performing students this year are from tribal families.

"I cried the first time I saw the conditions of these children and how little and skinny they are," says AAI nurse Faith Omel dela Torre.  Nurse Faith is a mother of two elementary school boys. She impressed on AAI Director Santoli that we needed to work extra hard to make sure these children could eat and have water tanks and hoses for sanitation and clean water for cooking and hand washing.  In turn, AAI reached out to GlobalGiving's community of donors and has realized incredible results.  

In the coming weeks we will tell stories about our Muslim and Christian communities in areas suffering intensive poverty, government neglect and resulting violence. Worse, there are now reports that ISIS terrorists from outside the country are trying to recruit and spread hatred. Every child we feed is a deterrent against hatred. GlobalGiving donors show them that they are not forgotten or alone. Says AAI senior nurse Elsa Bayani: "We are truly blessed to have such wonderful friends." 

Filipino and HIlltribe graduates at Angub ES
Filipino and HIlltribe graduates at Angub ES
Lunch at Bunot ES in Mindanao
Lunch at Bunot ES in Mindanao
Mom
Mom's cooking lunch at Poblacion ES, Mindanao
Hilltribe boyscout at Angub ES
Hilltribe boyscout at Angub ES
Muslim students at AAI supported school , Mindanao
Muslim students at AAI supported school , Mindanao
Filipino Catholic children at Angub ES, Visayas
Filipino Catholic children at Angub ES, Visayas
Rubber Sandals Thank You Art from Our Children
Rubber Sandals Thank You Art from Our Children

Links:

 
   

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