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Dec 18, 2018

Holiday Magic in Typhoon Recovery Schools

Typhoon relief during 2018 has been challenging and rewarding.  Villages in the Visayas, Philippines region suffered heavy flooding, damaging winds and massive landslides throughout the year beginning last December with Typhoon Vinta and most recently Typhoon Mangkhut and heavy rains during this pre-Christmas Season. Asia America Initiative remains actively assisting communities affected by natural disasters.  We have chosen public schools as the centers of communities where we can focus on both nutritional support and psychological post-traumatic recoveryA little love goes a long way.

AAI's Global Giving donors have been generous and supportive. Thanks to a Global Giving corporate grant and many heartfelt donations from every-day people, we have been able to help communities begin to rebuild and recover.  AAI structurally assists in rebuilding schools and repairing classrooms. We also provide food, hygiene supplies, clean drinking water and medical kits to impacted school populations. More than 12,000 individual school lunches per month are cooked on-site by caring Mothers and Grandmothers. Once again this Christmas, AAI has provided hundreds of children from impoverished families with toys, stuffed animals and artistic supplies that help to make their Holiday Season joyful.

Returning to relative normalcy is key to keeping communities together after a disaster. The longer recovery takes, the more likely families will become displaced and migrate to other regions due to poor living conditions and food insecurity.  "What AAI has done affects children in a positive manner on every level of their lives," says Principal Rowena at Catig Lacadon Elementary school in the highlands of Cuartero, Capiz.  "A gift as simple as a stuffed teddy bear or a coloring book with crayons, keeps the children active and replaces nightmares of tragedy with the joyful magic of Christmas. "

AAI believes in the dignity of the individual and keeping those impacted in a positive frame of mind. In order to keep children healthy, we continue to sponsor school lunch to some of the poorest areas in Visayas that were already below the poverty line.  We also wish to share with you in pictures some highlights of children receiving relief items from AAI staff during December 2018.  In January 2019, we will continue with new school supplies and to assure that every child in our schools receives a gift of Hope.

Thank you from the bottom of our hearts.  We ask you to please feel that you are a part of this wonderful effort.  Your continued involvement is much appreciated.

Links:

Dec 5, 2018

Heartfelt Thanks from Inter-Faith Children

Muslim and Christian children receive school lunch
Muslim and Christian children receive school lunch

The holiday season reminds us of how fortunate we are to have so many wonderful donors through our Global Giving network.  Each and every one of you is a true blessing for the nearly 1,000 children who benefit from this peace and development program.

In 2014, we created this project to bring together Christian and Muslim children in need. Thus far, we have assisted close to 10,000 children in elementary schools in Sulu and Visayas regions of the Philippines. The children continue to overcome extreme poverty, natural disasters and communal violence via clean water and improved daily nutrition, thanks to your support.

The founder and headmaster of Sahaya Integrated Madrasa elementary school in Jolo, Sulu is Doctor Amy. She says,“The AAI-sponsored feeding program is contributing to healthy children, minimal daily absences of pupils, a zero dropout rate and above average academic performance – by children who live in some of the most impoverished household conditions.  Mothers and fathers of pupils assist teachers to cook daily meals. We and AAI have a partnership to provide school supplies, garden tools, garden seeds, and pipes for fresh water."

Many thanks to Asia America Initiative donors who have supported our vision of peace through social/economic progress.  Most importantly, the ongoing support for this program year after year allows the chance for a true transformation built through community dignity and cooperation.

Outdoor hand washing at elementary schools
Outdoor hand washing at elementary schools
Peer learning with AAI books at school library
Peer learning with AAI books at school library
Book donation party by AAi and partners
Book donation party by AAi and partners
Hand wash in rural school using plastic bottle
Hand wash in rural school using plastic bottle
Outdoor classroom with AAI books
Outdoor classroom with AAI books
Academic excellence through health/nutrition
Academic excellence through health/nutrition

Links:

Oct 18, 2018

Training the Next Generation in Emergency Aid

In September, 2018, in Sulu Province, Philippines, AAI sponsored the local Department of Education Health and Nutrition Section's nurses to conduct a two day training seminar and workshops for elementary and high school students and some teachers.  The emphasis of these seminars was to train hundreds of students and teachers to be first aid responders in the event of natural or man-made disasters. In addition to emergency services, the HNS nurses provided aid materials to foster preparedness ahead of any cataclysmic events that often plagues the Philippines. Due to lack of competence by government, Asia America Initiative backed by our generous GlobalGiving donors provided the funding to conduct these trainings.

The students participate in modules of training including: General First Aid practices, Post-traumatic Psychological first aid, and Disaster Preparedness.  Each Little Nurse, starting in grades 4 and 5, each received back packs with first aid equipment.

In our many years of conducting disaster relief and trauma counseling,  AAI has learned that a positive attitude, with neighbors and children demonstrating compassion and friendship to each other is a key factor to help communities to stabilize.  Students were inspired to do artwork during these training sessions to bring out the fears and inner-feelings of those suffering from trauma.  This shared compassion will not only help their community in times of need but will inspire young people to pursue higher education in the health care field. Our success in rebuilding the quality of graduates in the local college nursing schools is an offshoot success of our holistic approach. 

Nurse Shareen, who heads the school health services office says, "The confidence and readiness that we instill in our little nurses program and to empower classroom teachers to work with traumatized students is a benefit to our entire community.  The enthusiasm shown by our elementary school nurses' aids is far beyond our expectation... and they actively assist their fellow students whenever there is a cut or a bruise and need a helping hand."

The first Child to Child training seminars two years ago involved 2 schools and not more than 20 students.  This year, 300 students are participating from 12 schools in the region. The total number of trained little nurses exceeds 500 from nearly 50 schools in the region!

"As trained leaders in crisis, they are learning how to effectively communicate with peers and elders in the most difficult times," says Nurse Shareen.  "These skills will cross over to their daily lives and the community will benefit through interpersonal communication and empathy for others.  It can also reduce local clashes of violence in the future that are often exploited by outside influences. Many of these students will apply to college to become nurses."

Once again, your contributions help these students to excel and cover the cost of the expenses to conduct our AAI-HNS emergency relief program.

Thank you for your kindness!  We will be stepping up training during Holiday Season 2018 to continuously develop this program. 

Sincerely,

Director Al Santoli

Links:

 
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