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