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

"It's amazing what a pail of rainwater and simple bars of soap can do to improve children's school performances and strengthen their overall health," observes Nurse Shareen, who is Chief Nurse of the Health Division in the Department of Education in Sulu Province, Philippines.  Thanks to GlobalGiving donors, 1,000 children, 500 girls and 500 boys, in three lively elementary schools -- Mukamalli, Sheikh Mustafa and Sahaya Integrated Madrasa -- have been able to improve their performances with the purchase of three 100 gallon hard plastic rainwater-catching tanks adjoining school facilities.  In addition, the 500 bars of soap purchased by Asia America Initiative assure that the children have clean hands before and after their daily lunches on school grounds. Infections and communicable illnesses that cause children to miss school days have dramatically been reduced.  "Needless to say," says Nurse Shareen, their classroom performances have improved substantially."

According to the World Health Organization, 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. During the current school year, despite conducting programs under martial law, Asia America Initiative has partnered with local teachers, parents and industrious officials to build clean water WASH facilities in at least 24 schools in Sulu.  In addition, we have increased basic nutrition through school lunches cooked by volunteer mothers and grandmothers.  By overcoming malnutrition and illness, we have added to the peace process in the province by our motto "One School/One Family." The improved drinking water and WASH facilities at each school has encouraged the expansion of school-based gardens which provide fresh food for lunches.  All of these components combine to overcome poverty, hunger, and communal violence that plague many areas in the Muslim Mindanao region of the Philippines. "The beauty of Asia America Initiative's integrated water and health programs," says Indanan District schools Supervisor Samoore Lahadjali "is that all members of our community can have a role in working together to build a better future for our children. Equal treatment of girls and boys sets a fine example of mutual respect and non-biased opportunity for all of our students."    

In 2018, our goal is to improve and expand beyond these three wonderful elementary schools.  We seek to maintain an adequate supply of soap and hand sanitizer to keep children's hands clean in order to keep their health stable and sustain their improving classroom performances.  Our beneficiaries in Sulu feel they are truly not forgotten.  They send their gratitude to all of our kind donors in the GlobalGiving community!

Soap from Asia America Initiative for 24 schools
Soap from Asia America Initiative for 24 schools
100 gallon water tank captures fresh rain water
100 gallon water tank captures fresh rain water
happy hand washers in rural school
happy hand washers in rural school

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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.  Although the region is enduring martial law and horrific violence in areas where the ISIS extremists have penetrated, through this program Asia America Initiative is helping people to take charge of their lives and not be influenced by negative forces.  

In 2016, we committed to assist 3 schools with a total of 500 girls to build clean water systems, WASH facilities and adequate nutrition essential for improved health and education.  Although we have had limited funds, we have participated in creative partnerships with local school communities to build a network of "Child Friendly Peace Zones" where better health and daily meals for small children have kept vulnerable youths in school and away from a life of violence and desperation that often begins at 11 or 12 years old.

At a time when radical groups are seeking to enter Muslim Mindanao region and fighting has intensified in other regional provinces, in our Sulu program areas we have offered children and their parents an alternative to self-destruction and a life of hopelessness.

"On cool days when it is raining heavily, our big pots of "mami dear" chicken soup is the best remedy."  says Sahaya Elementary School principal Fatria T. "Our pupils like mami soup, especially on a  rainy day, when so many suffer malnutrition and often get sick and miss school. They so enjoy eating and look forward to coming to school, Some mothers, in addition to cooking, assisted their kindergarten sons and daughters to eat their hot and delicious chicken and veggie soup."

We are pleased to report that we have surpassed assisting 3 schools with a total of 500 girls, we have extended WASH facilities and adequate nutrition through school lunches cooked by volunteer mothers and grandmothers which are essential for improved health and education to more than 24 schools in Sulu. With improved water delivery at each school, parents are inspired to give extra effort to create and expand school-based gardens to provide fresh foods at each school.

"In Sulu," observes retired Schools Superintendent Dr. Amy M., "mass school feedings remain essential. No matter if the schools are humble -- with good teachers and healthy children learning is achieved. Rising cost of food in Sulu is the hidden pain of martial law. Among our top to priorities to create each school as a “Peace Zone” is to continue and grow the mass feedings of all children and school gardens."

New water tank at Mukamalli Elementary
New water tank at Mukamalli Elementary
hand wash poster at Sulu school WASH facilities
hand wash poster at Sulu school WASH facilities
New WASH facility at Sheikh Mustafa Elementary
New WASH facility at Sheikh Mustafa Elementary
Pot of soup made with clean water at Sahaya ES
Pot of soup made with clean water at Sahaya ES
Abundant harvest via irrigation at Bunot ES
Abundant harvest via irrigation at Bunot ES
Bunot ES Moms cook lunch with garden veggies
Bunot ES Moms cook lunch with garden veggies

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Poverty, hunger, communal violence and limited public health plague Muslim Mindanao, Philippines. Lanao del Sur Provionce now has  more than 250 internally displaced people from fierce fighting raging between Islamic extremists and the Philippine military.  Some 500 miles south of Lanao, Sulu Province remains near the bottom of the UN's worldwide Human Development Index. The entire region remains undewr martial law. In Sulu, a school-aged population of some 350,000 children are mostly impoverished and are suffering from hunger. Female students are often most affected. With the new scholl year now uderway for 2017-18, Asia America Initiative is seeking your support to provide clean water, soaps for hygiene and nutritious fresh foods for daily lumches to assist 3 schools with a total of 500 girls and 500 boys to build clean water systems,

WASH facilities and adequate nutrition essential for improved health and education can be built inexpensively.  Adequate nutrition through school lunches cooked by volunteer mothers and grandmothers  are essential for improved health and education. With improved water delivery at each school, we will continue tto encourage the expansion of school-based gardens to provide fresh foods at each school.

A 6th grade teacher, Nash, at Bunot Elementary says, "Some parents asked me about feeding program in Bunot.  They said, " Did Prof Santoli give us for feeding like last year?"  It means so much to them. Most of our students’ parents are migrated from the other barangays [villages] and municipalities, to find land to work on as part-time farmers. Many hav e been displaced becauses of violence.  Others were deported from Sabah, Malaysia because they have no passport to live there as day laborers."

This school year, once again we seek your support for these wonderful children.  It is part of the partnership between AAI and the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao Department of Education plan for "Peace Zones" around each school.  Especially, during a period of martial law and intensive efforts by extremist groups to recruit children into their terror ranks, the ability to keep them in school through humane conditions and enough to eat is essential.  We need your help more than ever!

water tank supports city school garden in Jolo
water tank supports city school garden in Jolo
Moms cook lunch with clean water at Bunot Elem
Moms cook lunch with clean water at Bunot Elem
Mass Feeding at Manilop Elementary
Mass Feeding at Manilop Elementary
War in Lanao del Sur June 2017
War in Lanao del Sur June 2017
Rainwater catchment tank at Mukammali Elem, Jolo
Rainwater catchment tank at Mukammali Elem, Jolo

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Organization Information

Asia America Initiative

Location: Washington, DC - USA
Website:
Project Leader:
Albert Santoli
Washington, DC United States
$19,433 raised of $25,000 goal
 
171 donations
$5,567 to go
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