Typhoon Relief Exceeds Goals: Thanks to Global Giving Donors
By Albert Santoli | President, AAI and Project Coordinator
AAI-OWI-IPI relief team distributing food packs
Asia America Initiative and our partner consortium of community based organizations and volunteers have surpassed our intial November 2013 goal of providing food and clean water to 5,000 families or 30,000 persons in the typhoon devasted areas of the central Philippines. We have now served 11,616 families or 58,310 persons, working into Christmas week. We thank Global Giving international donors for your kindness and life-saving generosity. We have used your funds with care and time effective missions. In this overwhelming environment of needs, we utilize our strength at AAI in acting as both service providers and as catalysts for extended teamwork. The week before Christmas, the combined Asia America Initiative - One World Institute - IPI Foundation relief team based in Cebu and supported by Global Giving donors and corporate sponsors such as Eli Lilly, TomTom International, Dell and Gap conducted a life-saving relief mission to Leyte in communities near Tacloban. The devastation is beyond words. Malnutrition borders on starvation. Additional funds for food and water purification came from International Relief Teams in San Diego and medical supplies from Direct Relief of Santa Barbara, California and hygiene products from International Pharmaceutical Inc. of Cebu. Local people -- including many elderly men, women and children of all ages were elated -- but have no idea how they can survive in coming weeks.
During this same period, Asia America Initiative's tireless youth volunteers in Iloilo conducted training of two-dozen AAI Catalysts for Peace team leaders, including nurses and school teachers, to spread across across the Panay - Iloilo extended area where at least 500,000 people along the coast and on small islands urgently will need bi-weekly distributions of food and water until new crops can be grown and fising boats built. We provided training with life-vests to volunteers in order to survive choppy seas if any accidents occur. We are also distributing water filters and a new shipment of purification tablets that will purify more than one million gallons of muddy water. In early January, we will be assisted by the Philippine Coast Guard to reach isolated islands with 50 to 100 families that are a one to two hour boat ride off the coast, with rough high waves slowing the time of travel.
Our target is self sufficiency for at least 10,000 families or 50,000 persons by April. We are providing hammers, nails and wood-working tools for survivors to rebuild their homes, fishing boats and their lives, as well as gardening tools and local seeds for nutritional sustenance. As we enter 2014, we and the surivors of Typhoon Haiyan ask you to please not forget ourt efforts... even a small monthly contribution of $10 or $20 will do wonders. Pictures represent many words, so we are sharing our experience with you to let you know the good you have done. May God bless you all in the New Year.
Flattened town in Leyte assisted by AAI-OWI-IPI
Leyte children calling for help from passersby
Malnourished child in makeshift shelter
AAI-OWI-IPI relief truck arrives
hundreds of families line up for food and water
strong back and big heart of AAI-OWI-IPI volunteer
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