Clean Water, WASH & Nutrition for 500 Muslim Girls

by Asia America Initiative
Clean Water, WASH & Nutrition for 500 Muslim Girls
Clean Water, WASH & Nutrition for 500 Muslim Girls
Clean Water, WASH & Nutrition for 500 Muslim Girls
Clean Water, WASH & Nutrition for 500 Muslim Girls
Clean Water, WASH & Nutrition for 500 Muslim Girls
Clean Water, WASH & Nutrition for 500 Muslim Girls
Clean Water, WASH & Nutrition for 500 Muslim Girls
Clean Water, WASH & Nutrition for 500 Muslim Girls
Clean Water, WASH & Nutrition for 500 Muslim Girls
Clean Water, WASH & Nutrition for 500 Muslim Girls
Handwasing at school wash station in Sulu
Handwasing at school wash station in Sulu

Dear Friends,

As the new school year approaches, schools are preparing for students to eventually return, and continue to do onsite mentoring and distributing fressh foods to needy families that are grown in school gardens. In an expansion of our Asia America Initiative project, we are improving student access to clean water by building new water stations and providing water tanks to new schools. 

We recently purchased a new water pump for Salih Yusah Elmentary School who has a population of more than 500 girls between kindergarten and sixth grade among more than 850 pupils. The school's award winning gardens have been made possible by deep wells and water tanks funded by Asia America Intiative. "AAI has been our loyal partner and a God send for us,"  says Salih Yusah Elementary Principal Dr. Merhama.  "Their untiring efforts during the pandemic have been a model of excellence for school communities in our province.  We send heartfelt thanks to all of AAI's kind and thoughtful donors."

Poverty, hunger, communal violence, and limited public health plague Muslim Mindanao, Philippines. A school-aged population of some 350,000 children is mostly impoverished and suffering from hunger. Female students are often the most affected. During 2021, we have now more than doubled our goal of three schools with a total of 500 girls. Our focus is to build clean water systems, WASH facilities, and to promote adequate nutrition. All are essential for improved health and education.

By building clean water systems, WASH facilities, and by providing soaps, toothpaste, and donatiing other hygiene products - especially protective  masks and   anti-bacterial soap for washing hands -- our girls' health has improved. With the lifting of the quarantine caused by COID, girls will attend more days in school and classroom performance will be enhanced. We encourage the expansion of school-based gardens that provide fresh food for school lunches - cooked by volunteer mothers and grandmothers. With improved water access at each school and access to school lunches, girls can experience improved overall well-being.

If you would like to continue to support this project, please click the link below. 

Clean Water, WASH & Nutrition for 500 Muslim Girls

Thank you for assisting in our goal to improve the lives of girls living in difficult circumstances.

Albert Santoli

Director, Asia America Initiative

Pupils' Dads  build school hand wash station
Pupils' Dads build school hand wash station
Teacher admires new school wash station
Teacher admires new school wash station
School garden beautifies Salih Yusah Elementary
School garden beautifies Salih Yusah Elementary
New clean water container from AAI
New clean water container from AAI

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New wash station built at AAI sponsored school
New wash station built at AAI sponsored school

During a pandemic-driven year of home study, Asia America Initiative has continued to assist the heath and hygiene needs in at least 30 schools in the Sulu archipelago of islands to prepare for return to classroom learning. In at least 30 schools we have contributed to the construction of wash stations. With funds from GlobalGiving donors, we have supported deep wells  constructed by school staff and families of elementary school pupils. AAI purchases essential materials and coordinates building and rennovations with volunteer support by local community members. 

The Philippines remains a leading location of COVID19 cases in Asia, including new strains of the virus. At this time, it is especially important for children to have access to clean water and soap. We have a long history in the remote communities in Sulu archipelago in advocating for hygiene. Our programs include handwashing, teeth brushing, clean water for drinking, preparing school lunches, and wateri for fruit and vegetable gardens. AAI has provided many large and small water tanks to schools and hundreds of five-gallon water containers that are used by refugees and other homeless families during a crisis. 

Poverty, hunger, rampant waterborne diseases, and limited public health plague the Philippines. Sulu Province remains near the bottom of the UN's worldwide Human Development Index. A school-aged population of some 350,000 children -- more than half are girls -- suffer from malnutrition and hunger.  Worldwide, female students are most affected in similar schools. The best place for children in these communities to learn and prepare for the future is at school. With proper protocols and handwashing stations, we are hopeful that children can resume their education in classrooms where they all deeop their social habits.

Our inter-cultural programs, also build peace by encouraging Christian and Muslim neighbors to respect and help each other. We place an emphasis on daughters and grand-daughters, but we do not forget to include boys. AAI's programs support the efforts of community mediators and social healers. Our inter-faith activities dispel fear and biases that alienate communities who feel alone and abandoned. We emphasize the roles of females, who have undeniable talent and skills.  Positive interaction and equal treatment of all children and their parents generates mutual respect and friendship. We welcome all of our previous donors to remain involved by continuing your generous support of our programs.

Local communities provide labor for wash station
Local communities provide labor for wash station
Teachers and volunteers build station together
Teachers and volunteers build station together
Children will love the bright colors
Children will love the bright colors
Teachers in front of new water tank for station
Teachers in front of new water tank for station
New covered wash station with water tank
New covered wash station with water tank
New deep well built near school garden
New deep well built near school garden
Wash stations are essential for good health
Wash stations are essential for good health

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AAI has always been an advocate for the good health and well-being of the thousands of students in our rural elementary and high schools throughout the Philippines. We emphasize clean water and hygiene, especially in impoverished mostly-rural communities. During this difficult year of the Covid19 pandemic, our emphasis is to prioritize group and individual anti-virus protection in our schools, especially for teachers and pupils.

Poverty, hunger, communal violence, and limited public health plague Muslim Mindanao, Philippines. In the Sulu Province archipelago of more than 150 islands, a school-aged population of some 350,000 children are mostly impoverished and suffering from hunger. Female students are often most affected. We have provided resources to assist three schools with a total of 500 girls and an equal number of boys. Our focus is to build clean water systems and WASH facilities. This is to assure adequate hygiene and nutrition for improved health and education.

At Mukammali Elementary, we worked with school parents, who are carpenters, to construct a beautiful new water system and WASH station. "Despite the lockdown in Sulu," says the Principal of Mukammali Elementary, "we started on October 16 to build a handwashing facility. Thanks to AAI's donor family and our volunteer craftsmen who are PTA parents, the handwash station was completed within one month.”

"We are so blessed to have you and AAI donors as our partners. I could purchase a large water tank and other basic needs of our handwashing facilities. It was a wonderful blessing. Thanks again!"

During the coming weeks, our AAI field team will continue our community-based WASH program in Sulu and other areas of the Philippines. We intend to purchase the materials needed for handwash stations in at least 6 additional schools. The target is for the 6 systems at a total cost of $3,600 to be completed by the time school is scheduled to begin on-site classes in mid-January 2021.

Our heartfelt thanks to all of you who have helped. We have succeeded in providing enhanced health for more than 1,000 children cared for in this program during the past three months.

Giving Tuesday is Tuesday, December 1. If you would like to continue to support this program, your contribution will receive a match from GlobalGiving if made before midnight. Click the link below:

Clean Water, WASH & Nutrition for 500 Muslim Girls

Wishing you peace in the coming year,  

Albert Santoli

President, Asia America Initiative

Building Wash Station at Mukammali Elementary
Building Wash Station at Mukammali Elementary
Volunteer parents build WASH sation at school
Volunteer parents build WASH sation at school
Teachers inspect PTA parent carpenter
Teachers inspect PTA parent carpenter
Finishing handiwork on WASH station
Finishing handiwork on WASH station
Completed WASH site at Mukammali Elementary
Completed WASH site at Mukammali Elementary
A work of art and hygiene for 200 kids
A work of art and hygiene for 200 kids
New water tank connected to deep water well
New water tank connected to deep water well

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Student Presents her Poster for NM Contest
Student Presents her Poster for NM Contest

Nutrition Month in the Philippines is always an active time for our elementary school students. Students normally return in June and by July. they are receiving daily meals at school, prepared by moms, and planting their school gardens. This year is very different, as everyone is dealing with Covid19 restrictions. Classes won’t be resuming until at least late August.  Vital electronic and wifi infrastructure make on-line classes nearly impossible to conduct.

To boost morale, school nurses and teachers in Sulu are creating alternative modules that can be conducted in pupils' homes. All schools, although closed, held events for July’s Nutrition Month, including the annual Art Contest that focused on nutrition as a preventive measure against the virus. Many girls and boys participated and received top prizes. Asia America Initiative provided art supplies and also nutritional snacks for students, who had the strength to do great work. Schools gave out certificates and medals for the winners. Themes this year included planting gardens, a balanced diet including fish, and eating nutritious wild plants to maintain good health.  Practicing good hygiene, especially hand washing, was advocated.

Director Santoli congratulated schools participating in the event, "Congrats to the Jolo school nurses and especially Head Nurse Shareen for conducting Nutrition Month activities during the pandemic. The Art Contest was a great way to emphasize nutrition for the overall health of every child. Cheers to all contestants."

AAI promotes good health for girls in school by building clean water systems and WASH facilities. We provide soap, toothpaste, and other hygiene products so that girls' health can become stronger. When girls practice good hygiene, they attend more days in school, and their classroom performance improves. AAI also supports the expansion of school-based gardens with seeds, tools, and watering hoses and pails that provide fresh food for school lunches. Shared meals cooked by Moms are a great way to ensure students attend school every day.

If you would like to continue to support this project, click the link below to make a donation with GlobalGiving. We thank you for supporting AAI’s great projects and we will continue to send you inspiring progress reports!

Clean Water, WASH & Nutrition for 500 Muslim Girls

Wishing you peace,

Al Santoli,

Director, Asia America Initiative

Teachers and students proudly display posters
Teachers and students proudly display posters
Good food and good hygiene keep you healthy
Good food and good hygiene keep you healthy
We are all in this together.
We are all in this together.
Go, Grow, Glow!
Go, Grow, Glow!
AAI supplies stuffed animals for contestants
AAI supplies stuffed animals for contestants
A stuffed bear is always appreciated!
A stuffed bear is always appreciated!
Backpacks are also given to contestants.
Backpacks are also given to contestants.
Thanks to all who made this possible!
Thanks to all who made this possible!

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Doctors across the planet emphasize that washing hands briskly with soap and water is the best deterrent to the Covind-19 virus. With your support, Asia America Initiative continues to help build clean and simple but effective water systems in impoverished communities. Our school-based WASH facilities in the Philippines include soap, toothpaste, and other hygiene products which especially help girls  health to improve. New water systems also helps the expansion of school-based gardens to provide fresh foods and lunches cooked by volunteer mothers and grandmothers. With improved water delivery at each school, and access to school lunches, girls experience improved overall well-being and stronger immune systems to fight all infections and illnesses. In addition, better health provides children the energy to attend more days in school with better classroom performance.

"AAI's support to our school children may seem small but are essential." states Dr. Aybee,  Director of the Planning Office in the Sulu Province Department of Education. " AAI has donated soaps,bleach, spray bottles and paper towels to protect all children from the virus and they also protect us school teachers and health service providers. Sharing is caring and AAI cares for their extended family."

Due to the Covid19 Virus pandemic, the capital, Manila, and most of the country's 7,000 islands are "locked down."  AAI is among the relatively few organizations able to provide support in these areas. "We were fortunate to have a large donated shipment of food, clean water, and medical supplies, including sterilized gloves, face masks, and anti-bacterial soaps and sprays ready to ship in January and February. 

We are being proactive with more than 20 years of emergency relief experience. Our ongoing relief for typhoon survivors funded by GlobalGiving donors has enabled us to pre-position supplies from abroad and purchase essential goods from local markets. To maintain our inter-cultural focus, we are also donating food and hygiene supplies to child feeding programs in the Washington, DC - Northern Virginia area. 

Your support is critical as the virus spreads and medical personnel, equipment, and supplies are in short supply. We rapidly sendsupplies to our communities as soon we acquire them. Your donations allow us to provide resources to our AAI team members to purchase locally in their communities.

Our mission is to stabilize the medical and social systems of impacted communities. Our strength is in our partnerships with local, national and international organizations.  Your donations especially matter to keep our network in place in order to be able to respond to events as they happen.  Thank you for all you have done to help this cause.  Please continue to remember us during the current global crisis.

Wishing you peace and wellness,

Al Santoli, Director,

Asia America Initiative

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Organization Information

Asia America Initiative

Location: Washington, DC - USA
Website:
Project Leader:
Albert Santoli
Washington, DC United States
$18,557 raised of $25,000 goal
 
160 donations
$6,443 to go
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