Covid-19 Relief for Inter-Faith Filipino Children

by Asia America Initiative
Covid-19 Relief for Inter-Faith Filipino Children
Covid-19 Relief for Inter-Faith Filipino Children
Covid-19 Relief for Inter-Faith Filipino Children
Covid-19 Relief for Inter-Faith Filipino Children
Covid-19 Relief for Inter-Faith Filipino Children
Covid-19 Relief for Inter-Faith Filipino Children
Covid-19 Relief for Inter-Faith Filipino Children
Covid-19 Relief for Inter-Faith Filipino Children
Covid-19 Relief for Inter-Faith Filipino Children
Covid-19 Relief for Inter-Faith Filipino Children
Covid-19 Relief for Inter-Faith Filipino Children
Covid-19 Relief for Inter-Faith Filipino Children
Covid-19 Relief for Inter-Faith Filipino Children
Covid-19 Relief for Inter-Faith Filipino Children
Covid-19 Relief for Inter-Faith Filipino Children
Covid-19 Relief for Inter-Faith Filipino Children
Teachers mentor students with full PPE gear
Teachers mentor students with full PPE gear

AAI Donor Team,

You are helping usto make a difference. We are in the face of a deadly pandemic where currently South and East Asia are the hardest hit areas in the world. "Every smile is a victory for the poorest members of communities, " says Asia America Initiative's Visayas coordinator Nurse Faith. "This program provides care for children who are threatened by the COVID19 virus and other disasters," she says.  Inter-faith cooperation teaches students the value of teamwork and unity. AAI provides face masks, basic foods, clean water, and other hygiene supplies. In addition, we are currently providing protection, hand-wash, and nutrition programs for more than 5,000 children. 

Asia America Initiative is helping teachers do in-person mentoring of their students and for schools to prepare for on-site learning. The school year will begin in late-August.  We have received large quantities of personal protection supplies such as masks, face shields, hand sanitizer. Our US donors are also providing story books, teaching aids, and school supplies.  In June and July we are conducting shipping schedules from Fairfax, Virginia to Manila, Philippines.

Poverty, storms, disease epidemics, and inter-cultural violence are endemic in the Philippines. A school-aged population of more than 75 million children are mostly impoverished and malnourished.

Two of AAI’s primary areas of concern are: Sulu Province, with a majority Muslim population that remains near the bottom of the UN's worldwide Human Development Index, and Christian communities in Visayas, continuously recovering from natural disasters. Both regions have been hard hit with the global COVID19 pandemic and lack basic protection and medical supplies.

We are overcoming extreme poverty and communal violence through integrated literacy, livelihood skills, and health support programs.  Before the pandemic, we created a social media network for Muslim and Christian educators and children to share their new skills, hopes, and dreams.

Thank you for your support. Your donations make it possible to continue this very significant outreach during a time of great difficulties and rising food prices.

If you would like to add to your support, please click on the link below. We are accepting donations now to send needed supplies to AAI-supported communities in the weeks to come.

Covid-19 Relief for Inter-Faith Filipino Children

pandemic protective supplies to elementary schools
pandemic protective supplies to elementary schools
home vists by teachers with protective gear
home vists by teachers with protective gear
toys keep spirits high
toys keep spirits high
Community Pantry to feed the hungry
Community Pantry to feed the hungry
AAI volunteers make Care Packages for kids in need
AAI volunteers make Care Packages for kids in need
smiles overcome fear
smiles overcome fear

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A child receives food, hygiene supplies and a toy!
A child receives food, hygiene supplies and a toy!

Throughout December and January, Asia America Initiative teams delivered food, hygiene supplies, and even toys and books to families in need. Our inter-faith program assists children in the three major regions of the Philippines -- Luzon, Mindanao and Visayas -- where typhoons, eathquakes and floods are compounded by many people infected by the Covid-19 virus. The local people who AAI considers our extended "family" suffer in obscurity whether living in remote jungle villages or in the shanty town areas of big cities.  Our determined mission is prioritized  to overcome extreme poverty and communal violence through integrated literacy and public education, livelihood vocational training, and health support. Our end of year crisis interventuions took place on the island of Sulu in southern Muslim Mindanao region, in mountainous village schools of Cuartero, Capiz in Visayas as well as the very nothern province of Isabela.

The global pandemic has limited long-distance travel of AAI DIrector Santoli, but the US team receives food and hygiene PPE materials in substantial donations from many areas in the United States which are then sent to AAI partners and sponsored schools in the Philippines who coordinate distribution with US headquarters. Close to three tons of these donations arrived Manila via cargo boats in December. As  "lockdown" orders came closer, AAI Coordinators and volunteers in all three regions organized events to unbox and create family-sized relief packages to be distributed with assitance by fire fighters, police and members of the Phiippine armed forces. Nutritional needs are great as students are not attending school in person, where they would normally receive a daily meal. We are working with the AAI sponsored schools to identify what foods are needed most and how best to provide relief to families. Local first responders assist in the safe transport of AAI food and supplies and provide health checks and other community support activities.

Using the popular term of Bayanihan [Filipino] or Ohana [Hawaiian] meaning "extended family," AAI community-based programs involve Christians, Muslims, Indigenous Mountain Tribes and Badjao sea gypsies.  Inter-faith cooperation teaches aid recipients and student volunteers the value of teamwork and unity. We provide face masks, basic foods, clean water, and hygiene. Fire Departments provide first aid training.  And military units provide transportaion as needed. During the holiday period we served more than 1,000 families [close to 5,000 people]. We are currently providing protection, hand-wash, and nutrition programs for an additional 5,000 children,teachers, first responders and displaced persons.

Before the pandemic, we created a social media network for Muslim and Christian educators and children to share their new skills, hopes, and dreams. Mothers and fathers of pupils assist teachers to cook daily meals when schools are open. Despite the constant challenges of cash flow, we have provided thousands of books, school supplies, garden tools, and clean water systems.

Thank you so much for your past donations. If you would like to continue your support, please click the link to our project page. 

Covid-19 Relief for Inter-Faith Filipino Children

Wishing you peace,

Albert Santoli

Director - Asia America Initiative

Volunteers packing rice for relief packages
Volunteers packing rice for relief packages
Food donations to AAI-US arrive in the Philippines
Food donations to AAI-US arrive in the Philippines
Parents pick up AAI relief packs at Sulu School
Parents pick up AAI relief packs at Sulu School
AAI and local partner relief event at Carataya ES
AAI and local partner relief event at Carataya ES
Students seated to receive AAI package and a toy
Students seated to receive AAI package and a toy
Shoes were also given to improve hygiene
Shoes were also given to improve hygiene
AAI team and volunteers organize the event well
AAI team and volunteers organize the event well
AAI banner made by school Volunteers - Thank you!
AAI banner made by school Volunteers - Thank you!
FIre fighters  transport AAI supplies from port
FIre fighters transport AAI supplies from port

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School in Sulu thanking AAI for PPE supplies
School in Sulu thanking AAI for PPE supplies

This year has been quite a challenge for all Charitable Organizations and our Donors. Sending relief supplies to the areas we serve despite Covid19 restrictions took weeks longer.  hrough tem action we were able to provide support to the most needy families with food and hygiene supplies purchased locally or on nearby islands.  Thanks to your donations. 

In early September, a new shipment arrived in the Philippines. Boxes were labeled according to their destination, whether going to the our project areas such as Manila, Visayas, Davao, and rural areas of Mindanao. In each location, AAI coordinators are in charge of assembling volunteers to sort and repack donations of food and other supplies into packages to be given to families in need. PPE supplies to protect senior teachers in schools are inventoried and distributed by teachers, volunteers and fire fighrters.  The emphasis now is to prepare for the opening of school in early October. 

 At Mohammad Tulawie Central Elementary, the largest in the province of Sulu, where the United Nations has clained that the poverty and education conditions are among the most severe in all of Southeast Asia, weekly lesson plan modules are being printed for home schooling.  "Once again we are relying on your help for our 1,800 pupils," says Principal Jayhan. "Due to lack of copiers and ink, 1 week modules took us 3 weeks to prepare.  We would really appreciate if we can obrain at least 1 photocopier machine considering our huge number of pupils... Please help us to raise fund. Once again we are knocking on your kind heart . And those donors with generous hearts to help us out. We need heavy duty copy machines." [Such a machine with ink supplies will cost around $400.]

In Sulu, volunteers assembled 42 boxes of food, hygiene supplies. During the process some chocolate candy arrived. Teachers and families organized the shipment to sort and distribute the items received. Part of their task in Jolo was to prepare relief packages for the children affected by a recent suicide bomb blast. Trauma healing often begins with the kindness of others and receiving a tangible item, such as a stuffed toy, to enable children to express grief and sorrow. 

In Visayas, school staff assembled as well to unbox the supples, sort, and distribute the food and other supplies. 

In Mindanao, religious conflict and natural disasters have caused suffering for millions of Filipino children. This program provides care for children who are victims of the Covid-19 virus and other disasters. Inter-faith cooperation teaches students the value of teamwork and unity. We provide face masks, basic foods, clean water, and hygiene. In response to the Covid-19 crisis, we are currently providing personal protection, hand-wash, and nutrition programs for more than 360 seniuor teachers and 5,000 children.

If you would like to make a small contribution as ongoing support, the link below will take you to the donation page.

Covid-19 Relief for Inter-Faith Filipino Children

Teachers wearing face provided by AAI
Teachers wearing face provided by AAI
Schools are so appreciative for your support
Schools are so appreciative for your support
Face shields, masks, and liquid soap help teachers
Face shields, masks, and liquid soap help teachers
Colorful packages of food relief to distribute
Colorful packages of food relief to distribute
AAI volunteers give to families after sorting
AAI volunteers give to families after sorting
AAI supplies arriving into Visayas
AAI supplies arriving into Visayas
Director Santoli with donations at AAI warehouse
Director Santoli with donations at AAI warehouse

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Organization Information

Asia America Initiative

Location: Washington, DC - USA
Website:
Project Leader:
Albert Santoli
Washington, DC United States
$14,571 raised of $30,000 goal
 
34 donations
$15,429 to go
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