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 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”, 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
Hand washing is daily routine at Sahaya Elementary
New wash basins at Sahaya Elementary
Kindergarten teacher assists student wash hands
Moms make lunch for all children in the school