Empower 500 Homeless Girls with Books and Wellness

by Asia America Initiative
Empower 500 Homeless Girls with Books and Wellness
Empower 500 Homeless Girls with Books and Wellness
Empower 500 Homeless Girls with Books and Wellness
Empower 500 Homeless Girls with Books and Wellness
Empower 500 Homeless Girls with Books and Wellness
Empower 500 Homeless Girls with Books and Wellness
Empower 500 Homeless Girls with Books and Wellness
Empower 500 Homeless Girls with Books and Wellness
Empower 500 Homeless Girls with Books and Wellness
Empower 500 Homeless Girls with Books and Wellness
Empower 500 Homeless Girls with Books and Wellness
Empower 500 Homeless Girls with Books and Wellness
Empower 500 Homeless Girls with Books and Wellness
Empower 500 Homeless Girls with Books and Wellness
Empower 500 Homeless Girls with Books and Wellness
Empower 500 Homeless Girls with Books and Wellness
Empower 500 Homeless Girls with Books and Wellness
Empower 500 Homeless Girls with Books and Wellness
Fire Relief to homeless families in Mandaue, Cebu
Fire Relief to homeless families in Mandaue, Cebu

Dear Friends,

This project empowers girls [and boys] in the Philippines made homeless by typhoons and other disasters. Girls displaced from their homes by storms, floods and other natural disasters live in open-air evacuation centers. AAI provides books and school supplies to continue access to education. And especially for the girls, clean water and hygiene supplies for their wellness.

Recent disasters have put us in touch with new communities in Christian, Muslim, and Mountain Tribal areas that are largely under-served. This includes a community just outside of the industrial city of Cebu where 750 families were recently made homeless by a giant fire. The community was made up of flimsy squatters' shacks set ablaze by a house fire, that swiftly burned all 750 houses to ashes. The first aid group on the scene was our local team member, Cebu-based IPI Foundation. "We began the operation by distributing clean water from our company's water tankers," says team coordinator Ms. Lourdes. "We then began distribution of AAI's pre-positioned food and 5 gallon water containers also provided by AAI and a local sponsor."

In all of these areas, access to safe shelter, basic education materials, clean water, and sanitation is extremely limited. Lack of hygiene is a major cause of illness. Lack of schools, essential books, and classroom supplies prevents adequate learning. 

To our GlobalGiving community of donors: We appreciate all you do and could not do this without you! We emphasize "buying local" as much as possible. Your funds are used to buy vital items such as water containers, to pay for clean water, to purchase food items in bulk such as rice, and to provide basic school books at wholesale prices from local stores.

If you would like to add to your support or begin a monthly donation, please click the link and GlobalGiving will prepare that for you to assist in this worthwhile endeavor.

Empower 500 Homeless Girls with Books and Wellness

Thank you,

Albert Santoli,

Director, Asia America Initiative

Devasted squatters village; 3,000 homeless victims
Devasted squatters village; 3,000 homeless victims
Big sister cares for little brother after fire
Big sister cares for little brother after fire
Fire burns 275 homes in Mandaue Cebu to ashes
Fire burns 275 homes in Mandaue Cebu to ashes
After fire' No homes standing Mandaue, Cebu
After fire' No homes standing Mandaue, Cebu
AAI and IPI friends arrive in Mandaue at sunrise
AAI and IPI friends arrive in Mandaue at sunrise

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In the Philippine Province of Sulu, located in the Pacific "Ring of Fire," thousands of Filipino families have become homeless due to non-stop calamities including earthquakes, typhoon floods, and never-ending volcano eruptions in and around neighboring Indonesia.  Throughout the region, Covid19, armed conflict, and dire poverty have caused the continuous closing of schools for three years.  Ramshackle electical infrastructure has caused fires that spread rapidly in many communities, damaging schools and requiring temporary housing of displaced families. Women and girls are the most seriously affected due to their special needs and duties to take care of children and the elderly. This project empowers girls made homeless or trapped in poverty from these disasters by providing books and school supplies.  This creates humane learning environments to continue their education and provide hygiene and wellness supplies to overcome numerous health problems they face.

The American staff of Asia America Initiative has been limited in travel due to the pandemic and continuous heavy rains, earthquakes, volcanos and flooding in the Mindanao region, as well as the continuous threat of violent crime due to the desperate poverty.  However, after 20 years of service and relationship-building in the area, we have synchronized the efforts of our overseas organizers and local front-line service providers and hundreds of volunteers to provide urgent eduational, health, hygiene, clean water and gardening supplies to sustain the well being of communities.  Our emphasis is on community-based partnership, where even the most destitute local villagers can believe that they have a stake in the programs that we build.  "Although our emphasis is on families and the duties of men to embrace their responsibilities," says Proincipal Merhama of Salih Yusah Elementary School with close to 1,000 pupils in Jolo,  "many of our program leaders and hardest workers are women and girls...    AAI has been an advocate of equal rights through shared responsibilities which also fits into our traditional tribal customs."

In preparation for return to face to face classes at many local schools in mid-August, AAI has increased our shipments of donated books, school supplies and hygiene maerials. And thanks to our GlobalGiving community of donors from around the world, we have contributed the funds needed to repair and brighten schools, within classrooms and outdoor garden environemnts to develop a celebration of learning for all school members and their families.

AAI is sponsoring schools offering reading camps that help to bring in girls left homeless. There they receive a meal and basic medical check from the school nurse. AAI programs focus on good hygiene and hand washing and the girls are given instructions on how to care for themselves.

To our GlobalGiving community of donors: We appreciate all you do and could not do this without you!

If you would like to add to your support or begin a monthly donation, please click through this report and GlobalGiving will prepare that for you to assist in this worthwhile endeavor.

Empower 500 Homeless Girls with Books and Wellness

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AAi assists homeless children after typhoons
AAi assists homeless children after typhoons

Dear Friends of AAI,

In December 2021, Typhoon Rai or Odette in the Philippines intensified and scoured through the center of the country causing widespread damage and homelessness. AAI and our partners arranged a relief caravan to travel into the countryside to provide relief in the remote areas of Cebu region and devastated Surigao del Norte province that had been mostly forgotten. Poverty is already pervasive in these areas and women and girls are especially vulnerable.

During recent years, thousands of Filipino families become homeless due to calamities including earthquakes, typhoon floods, volcanos, armed conflict, and fires. Women and girls are the most seriously affected. This project empowers girls made homeless from these disasters by providing books and school supplies to continue their education and hygiene supplies for their overall health.

Although the Covid pandemic has limited the ability of Director Santoli to be on-site, the courage and selfless efforts of our field coordinators and volunteers have maintained a consistency in providing much needed supplies. We back up each other as teammates when we are working the 12-hour time difference between the United States and the Philippines. Our true strength is our openness and respect for people of many faiths and cultures. "At first, the local people who seldom see outsiders were cautious to communicate with our volunteers," says Dr. Yolanda, who provides a 24-hour lifeline during such times of dire need.  "What also surprised them was to see Christians and Muslims working together in support of communities who were not blood relations to them."

Monthly, AAI supply shipments have been arriving in the Philippines containing food, water, hygiene, and other relief supplies. Our small legion of volunteers in the Philippines include college students and business owners to retired law enforcement and military veterans. Partner organizations have donated trucks, jeeps, and warehouses to process relief items in covered spaces that will ensure its quality and safety.

Thank you for supporting our meaningful project. If you would like to add to your contribution, please click through this report. You may also be interested in a smaller monthly donation to help support women and girls left homeless and recovering from Typhoon Odette. Through April 8th, make a donation up to $50 and receive a 50% match from GlobalGiving!

Wishing you peace,

Albert Santoli,

Director

Asia America Initiative

Youth volunteers assist homeless families
Youth volunteers assist homeless families
Essential supplies packed by AAI volunteers
Essential supplies packed by AAI volunteers
Volunteers work overtime packing vital supplies
Volunteers work overtime packing vital supplies
Every spoonful matters to hungry children
Every spoonful matters to hungry children
Relief in mountain area to homeless families
Relief in mountain area to homeless families
AAI and Friends always energetic and on call
AAI and Friends always energetic and on call

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Between November 2020 and November 2021, thousands of Filipino families became homeless due to non-stop calamities including a large earthquake, typhoon floods, the eruption of Taal volcano in the capitol region, Covid19, armed conflict, and a major fire in Jolo, Mindanao. Women and girls are the most seriously affected. This project will empower girls made homeless from these disasters by providing books and school supplies to continue their education and hygiene supplies for wellness programs.

Girls displaced by disasters live in open-air evacuation centers or are crammed into one room shacks with extended families.  This often causes more than 10 adullts and children to share one room.  Access to safe shelter, education, clean water, and sanitation is extremely limited. Lack of hygiene is a major cause of illness. Lack of schools, essential books, and classroom supplies prevents adequate learning. In this pivotal time of their lives, health, safety, and continued development of educational skills are essential to reach full potential and contribute to the well-being of their entire family and community. Our holistic program combines health, hygiene and learning as a tripartite approach to rebuilding communities in atmosphere of hope and determination to succeed.

In Jolo, Sulu, Principal Merhama of Salih Yusah Elementary School states, "The presence and consistency of Asia Ameica Initiaitive to inspire community-wide rebuilding following floods and two large fires this past year has motivated teamwork among teachers, parents and our pupils.  Where in many school communities the COVID pandemic has added to a depressed attitude of helplessness, Professor Santoli and his AAI team backed by their generous donors, have given us a more positive outlook on life."

In Capiz, Cuartero in the central Visayas Region of the Philippines, Nurse Faith, who coordinates AAI health and nutition proigrams, says:  "Regardless of the difficulties of reaching our mountain schools in highland areas, AAI has never backed down from the challenges. Where most of students happen to be females, AAI somehow provides books ands other materials that encourage their self-confidence to achieve and to have the small necessities in life that make a huge difference in their well-being. God bless you all."

This Holiday Season as heavy rains continue to create floods and add to the numbers of displaced persons who may have lost their meager family possessions, we are grateful for your support. During these challenging and unpredictable times, weseek your continued partnership.  We thank you for not forgetting us.

We don't forget Granny who is cares for the girls
We don't forget Granny who is cares for the girls
Hygiene fights COVID even among displaced people
Hygiene fights COVID even among displaced people
Feeding farmers' family victimized by storm
Feeding farmers' family victimized by storm

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Caring for children without a home
Caring for children without a home

Dear Friends,

In June, AAI and partners continue to distribute relief to families left homeless because of natural disasters, regardless of the difficulties caused by the COVID pandemic.

Last year, thousands of girls lost their homes in the Philippines due to earthquakes, volcanoes, floods, and fire. Many are still in long-term shelters or open-air evacuations centers. Access to education, clean water, and sanitation continues to be limited. Lack of hygiene is a major cause of illness in these circumstances. Lack of schools, essential books, and classroom supplies prevents adequate learning. 

Our project provides care for at least 500 girls by supporting their wellness and educational needs. We helped to provide books, toys, and soap during the event, including instructions on how to wash properly. Toys are given to help with trauma. Many of these children have never had a toy of their own. We help to reduce trauma by providing loving care. The majority of our field staff are women who are mothers of their own children. They know that children are better able to express themselves through a toy who becomes their friend with who they can share their experience. Storybooks provide imaginary worlds filled with happiness. 

In the pivotal time of their lives, the girls' health, safety, and continued development of educational skills are essential to reach their full potential and contribute to the well-being of their entire family and community. We are also sending donated activity kits to the girls that include paper, pens, and other items essential for learning. With COVID19 case numbers rapidly expanding, the Philippines government has decided to keep schools closed through 2021. Any educational materials we can provide will make a difference to these beautiful and energetic children's futures. 

Thank you for supporting this very important project. If you would like to continue your kindness for these children, please click on the link below.

Empower 500 Homeless Girls with Books and Wellness

Thank you,
Wishing you peace,
Albert Santoli
Asia America Initiative

Girls are taught how to wash their hands
Girls are taught how to wash their hands
Families are still struggling with homelessness
Families are still struggling with homelessness
You can make a difference
You can make a difference
Tent city- a temporary home for displaced families
Tent city- a temporary home for displaced families

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Organization Information

Asia America Initiative

Location: Washington, DC - USA
Website:
Project Leader:
Albert Santoli
Washington, DC United States
$2,525 raised of $5,000 goal
 
45 donations
$2,475 to go
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