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
Students Preparing their New School Garden
Students Preparing their New School Garden

Asia America Initiative thanks you for helping students wIth seeds, tools and watering cans to prepare new school gardens which will be used for school lunches.  "Supplemental vegetables and fruits provide a balanced diet for children suffering from  various levels of malnutriition," says Doctor Anissa, head of the Nursing graduate school at Mindanao State University in Jolo, Philippines. 

Students returned for the new school year in June and began to plant their new school garden in elementary and high schools. These gardens are used to provide vegetables for the communal meal they will all share, cooked by their mothers and other school volunteers. Students, teachers and other community members bonded together to clear the garden area, prepare the soil and plant new seeds. Your donation helped AAI to purchase tools needed and seeds for the gardens.

Poverty, hunger, communal violence, and limited public health plague Muslim Mindanao, Philippines. Sulu Province remains near the bottom of the UN's worldwide Human Development Index. A school-aged population of some 350,000 children are mostly impoverished and suffering from hunger. Female students are often most affected. 

AAI’s programs, also build peace by encouraging Christian and Muslim neighbors to respect and help each other, with an emphasis on daughters and grand-daughters. AAI's equal concern for all children, regardless of religion or culture serves as a mediation bridge and a vital component of social healing. "Our inter-faith activities dispel fear and biases that alienate communities who feel alone and abandoned," says AAI Sulu coordinator Tarhata.  "Positive interaction between all girls in a school community genenerates mutual respect and friendship," says principal Nuraisha of Kasambuhan Elementary. Your role is essential!

If you would like to continue your support, please click on the orange "Give Now" button. Thank you!

Girls working with their teachers to prep garden
Girls working with their teachers to prep garden
AAI donors provide tools for student gardens
AAI donors provide tools for student gardens
AAI donations provide seeds - Thank you!
AAI donations provide seeds - Thank you!
Gardening makes lifelong friendships
Gardening makes lifelong friendships
super size veggies for school lunches
super size veggies for school lunches

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Dear Donors,

We want to share with you good news about the students in AAI supported schools in Sulu, Philippines regarding their year-end exams. In the Philippines, the school year ends earlier at the beginning of April. AAI seeks to stabilize and enhance the communities we serve. We all know that a nourished child is much happier and relaxed during the school day.  AAI provided school lunches during testing times in order for the students to concentrate better and as an incentive to attend. Poverty, hunger, communal violence and limited public health plague Muslim Mindanao, Philippines. Sulu Province remains near the bottom of the UN's worldwide Human Development Index. A school-aged population of some 350,000 children are mostly impoverished and suffering from hunger. Female students are often most affected. It is difficult to travel to school and conditions are often unsafe. A simple meal can make all the difference for attendance and higher test grades are achieved across the board. In Sulu this spring, students of all ages did really well with their final exams. During exam week, Moms and other volunteers dutifully prepared a midday meal for the children. 

The long-term goals of AAI is to improve health and school conditions. We also build peace by empowering Christian and Muslim communities to respect and support each other, with an emphasis on daughters and grand-daughters. AAI serves as mediators and social healers. Our inter-faith activities dispel fear and biases that alienate communities who feel alone and abandoned. Positive interaction and equal treatment of all girls generate mutual respect and friendship.

Thank you for your support!

President Albert Santoli,

 

If you would like to make a donation to help us prepare for the coming school year beginning in June, here is the link:

Clean Water, WASH & Nutrition for 500 Muslim Girls

Students in line for AAI sponsored midday meal
Students in line for AAI sponsored midday meal
Girls enjoying lunch together
Girls enjoying lunch together

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Handwashing Day was started a few years ago in Sulu, Philippines to promote proper handwashing in the communities.  Asia America Initiative enables such a program by providing hygiene supplies, toothbushes and paste, and clean water/water tanks to prevent waterborne diseases. This year, there was a great turnout and LOTS of enthusiasm in more than 80 schools on Jolo island. The older students participating in our Mini Nurses program were on hand with the parents and teachers to teach the younger children proper hygiene. 

The event centers around the local elementary schools. Soap and clean water are provided as the students wait in line for their turn. Who would think such an event would bring such joy? In this region, hygiene and nutrition are difficult to achieve. United Nations development reports rate Sulu near the bottom worldwide. AAI's mission is to continue in 2019 to support local school systems with clean water, soap and nutritional support so that impoverished parents will send their children to school where they will be properly cared for.

An important element of the hygiene and improved health programs, says Principal Merhama of Salih Yusah Elementary School, "is that once they arrive to school they will stay all day to receive a mid-day meal prepared by teachers and parent volunteers."

"Girls are especially vulnerable," says Sulu head school nurse Shareen, "because they are susceptible to many forms of illness caused by the lack of proper hygiene and sanitary facilities such as simple rest rooms.

"What Asia America Initiative has done is to provide us with the necessary tools and resources we need to care for our children in the correct manner. This also builds confidence for learning because they and their parents know that our schools are truly "Child Friendly Zones" where they can be safe and improve their health conditions.  It is a blessing to have wonderful friends from outside of our own community who support AAI and our Nursing Department to be effective and expand our activities."

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Gardener wearing rice sack apron with Principal
Gardener wearing rice sack apron with Principal

School gardens in AAI schools are the source of inspiration to bring people within impoverished communities together in the shared goal of feeding children a quality and nutritious school lunch every day.

The 100 islands of Sulu form a maritime bridge between north and south Asia. The largely Muslim region remains near the bottom of the UN's worldwide Human Development Index. A school-aged population of some 350,000 children  -- more than half girls -- are impoverished and suffering from malnutrition, unclean water and communal violence.

The majority of pupils are female and have proven themselves to be excellent gardeners.

Students help in all aspects of the gardening: planting seeds, weeding and watering, harvesting the vegetables and fruits, and seed collection for the seed bank at the end of the season. Students learn the skills of growing their own food in a local and sustainable manner.  The skills they are practicing will carry into adulthood and will teach the next generation. 

Vegetables and fruits collected are used for lunchtime meals at their school, prepared by family members and school volunteers. When lunch is provided, children are more likely to attend classes daily and stay for the full day as they eat better at school. Girls are especially vulnerable to danger if they go home for lunch as schools are often far from home.  Safe transportation is usually not available. 

With support from GlobalGiving donors, we have helped to bring more than 500 Muslim girls and an equal number of boys out of hunger.  Our motto is "One School, One Family" where teachers, mothers and local volunteers backed by international small donors are assuring that these children are not forgotten.  Worldwide, female students are often most affected. In this program, we assist five schools with a total of 500 girls, to create clean water systems, improve hygiene and increase daily nutrition.  As we have proven that success can be achieved, more and more schools request to join this program.  We look forward to your continued support.  We have deep appreciation for your kindness.

 

Students have pride for their school garden!
Students have pride for their school garden!
Teacher showing students how to plant in pots
Teacher showing students how to plant in pots
Class photo in the garden
Class photo in the garden
Harvesting for the seed bank
Harvesting for the seed bank

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Students wash hands before school lunch
Students wash hands before school lunch

Wearing bright orange vests with nursing identity logos, girls and boys in more than 50 elementary schools in the Muslim Mindanao Region in Sulu Province in the Philippines are public health heroes.  These children, from 4th to 6th grade, are trained by local Philippine Red Cross representatives and school nurses to perform a variety of tasks to improve first aid and health conditions in their school communities. They also help to serve daily lunches cooked at school by voulunteer Moms under Asia America Initiative's "One School, One Family" nutrition and peace building program.  Most of these mini-nurses, now numbering more than 500 in Sulu, are planning a career in nursing and other health professions. They perform diverse tasks such as putting bandages on fellow students, conducting anti-malaria campaigns by keeping school yards clean and eliminating stagnant water where mosqiitos lay eggs, teaching fellow students how to properly wash their hands and brush their teeth.  Living in the Pacific Ocean Ring of Fire area plagued by volcanoes and earthquakes, the little nurses are grouped into skilled teams of emergency aid providers at each participating school.

When AAI began assisting Sulu State College to train a mere 50 impoverished students to complete nursing school, we had no idea how the overall public health program in Sulu would grow!!   In 2014, less than 40 percent of license exam takers passed their tests.  AAI set a simple goal of helping 50 young Muslim women achieve their goal to become Regisered Nurses to assist their communities.  Today, more than 200 young ladies and gentlemen have earned their Registered Nurses professional certification under our assistance program. The most recent license group includes a perfect one hundred percent of successful national exam takers from Sulu in June 2018. Our approach is to build a generational cultural attitude of progress.  We are targeting results over a ten year period rather than simply intervening for one or two years.  Today's mini-nurses are tomorrow's experienced health care providers. 

Health conditions in Sulu have continued to deteriorate due to natural and man-made calamities. During the months of July and July 2018, the Sulu area is experiencing a clean water shortage and shortage of electricity due to political management issues.  In addition, flooding caused by severe rains have hindered water filtration and caused unsanitary conditions in flooded public streets and schools.  In addition to funding from Global Giving donors, AAI was able to secure a donation of soaps that is much needed by elementary schools in the communities we serve. 

 "The mini-nurses program is a wonderful example of what we call Child-to-Child mentoring in our schools," says Province Department of Education head nurse Shareen in the Sulu Department of Education headquarters.  "We have profound appreciation of the assistance from Asia America Initiative and their GlobalGiving donors whose loyalty allows our program to continue to grow and provide previously unthinkable public health services to our communities."

Monsoon floods in Sulu June 2018
Monsoon floods in Sulu June 2018
Munting Nurses teaching first graders to wash hand
Munting Nurses teaching first graders to wash hand
AAI water containers purchased with GG donations
AAI water containers purchased with GG donations
Simple water system for hand wash hygiene
Simple water system for hand wash hygiene
Emergency response training
Emergency response training
Munting Nurse Esprit de Corps
Munting Nurse Esprit de Corps

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Organization Information

Asia America Initiative

Location: Washington, DC - USA
Website:
Project Leader:
Albert Santoli
Washington, DC United States
$20,277 raised of $35,000 goal
 
203 donations
$14,723 to go
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