Heavy rains, floods and mudslides continue to davastate many areas of Mindanao and Visayas in the Philippines. In areas near the eastern Mindanao of Davo, tens of of thousands of families remain homelss and are threatened by floods and mudslides. Food is hard to find and clean water and hygiene are virtually non-existent.
A number of international organizations such as the Red Cross and smaller organizations like Asia America Initiative are trying our best, but face a desperate shortage of funds and other resources as our many youth volunteers saeek to provide aid to diminsh the suffering of women, children, the elderly and men.
Asia America Initiative have been also providing school books and readers to assist elmentary school and high school students to maintain basic education. Thanks to donors from Global Giving and schools in the United States, we have been able to distribute close to 100,000 new textbooks across the typhoon zones. But there is still much to be done.
Every donation matters. We urgently seek your support as the new typhoon season for 2014 officially begins in mid-May -- just 6 weeks from now. Schools re-open the first week of June, even if they are merely tents or pieces of plastic or cloth tarp with hand-crafted wooden benches made from driftwood. Our goal is to keep the hot sun or heavy rain off of the school children so they can learn. Clean water and sanitation are simple but remakably needed in schools that have no such essentials for life.
We are grateful for the compassion and generosity you have generated. And we seek your support in the coming weeks and months.
Thank you and may God bless you for for your contunued support.
The lack of resources for humanitarian organizations working in the Philippines is a growing crisis. For organizations such as Asia America Initiative who are working in multiple hardship areas, we are doing everything possible to stretch every dollar or peso from our compassionate GlobalGiving partners. We realize the shortcomings of official agencies but rather than complain, we are trying to set good examples of cost-effective service. More than 1 million survivors of Typhoon Bopha in the Davao area still without stable houses or stable jobs. They have been mostly forgotten becauses of the scope of Super Typhoon Haiyan, where more than 11 million people are without adequate shelter, including 6 million who face severe nutrition shortages and clean potable water. We have seen wonderful examples of human kindness and unselfish teamwork. But we have also seen the worst elements of human nature. Women and children survivors of the storms and man-made disasters in the Philippines from Cebu in Visayas in the central region down to Zamboanga in the deep south are facing an additional serious danger -- human trafficking and slavery.
As a community-focused organization, we believe solutions can be achieved by many modest organizations working in partnership. Between September and November 2013 GlobalGiving individual donors sent AAI $715 dollars for our Typhoon Bopha relief program. To purchase food or bottles of water with that amount of cash would be like a speck of sand on a large beach. Instead, we are practicing the art of leveraging funds and sharing with partners who can maximize the impact of the funding. In the case, our partners are One World Institute of Califonia and the Mindanao region and the Mindanao Women's Commision, Inc. of Davao. We are using those funds to combat trafficking and slavery through livelhood opportunities, to purchase at least six sewing machines and looms to create entrepreneurial co-ops to make traditional weaving and clothing for a total of at least 30 women. Charity can never be enough. Instead, with income earned from working they can feed their families and avoid exploitation. We are starting with a realistic number of beneficiaries and will scale up the number, if we can increase the number of donors. The first livelihood tools are being purchased with Global Giving donor funds in January 2014. We sincerely thank those who have contributed and look forward to your support to expand the number of women and children we can protect. Every contribution makes a difference. God bless you for your generosity.
The following is an e-postcard from Zamil Akhtar, a GlobalGiving Representative in the Philippines:
Mindanao rarely had typhoons and then it had three – one after another. The people were not ready, and the devastation was enormous. Relief has taken a long time, but what I saw in Davao City was impressive. Communities had been resettled away from vulnerable zones, and houses had been rebuilt. Families were provided with medical care and relief supplies. The community leaders in Mindanao -- poorest part of the Philippines -- know that a lot more must be done, and Asia America Initiative is lending an essential hand by providing the direction and funding necessary to get things back to normal.
Through August 2013, the Philippines remains one of the most flood ravaged counties in the world. Relentless typhoons and other tropical storms continuously ravage the island nation. More than 1 million people remain washed out of their homes, with many families living in makeshift shelters. In response, with assistance from generous Global Giving donors, since June AAI and our partners from International Pharmaceuticals Incorporated [IPI] Foundation have turned less than $500 in cash donations into $20,000 of hygiene kits for more than 1,000 families or 5,000 men, women and children.
In mid-August 2013, AAI provided hygiene and other supplies for IPI Foundation to conduct relief missions into the rural mountainous area outside of Davao city, such as in Cateel. IPI provided trucks and humanitarian supplies, One Wold Inistute provided wheelchairs, and privatecompanies provided sea transport from Manila to Davao. We are currently making an effort to raise an additional $2,500. to better assist an additional 5,000 persons, including a large number of grandparents, who often are the hearts and souls of their extended families. We hope you can join us in this much-needed and urgent activity.
Since 2008,many areas of the world -- whether in developed or impoverished communities --have been devastated by unexpected deadly storms, floods and other natural disasters. The United Nations has cited the Philippines as the hardest hit country in the world during 2012. Many Filipino communites have yet to recover beyond tents and makeshift shacks, with clean water and adequte food and medicine in short supply. Six months ather Typhoon Bopha/ Pablo ended and initial aid missions have largely inished their work, many communites remain in desperate conditions.
Thanks to the good-hearted, if seemingly modest, donations by GlobalGiving donors, amounting to around $2,000 during the first quarter of 2013, some larger companies and charitable agencies have assisted Asia America Initiative and our fieldwork partners of the International Pharmaceutical Incorporated [IPI] Foundation to distribute more than US $650,000 of donated medical assistance to thousands of storm and flood victims in Visayas and Mindanao regions. Our aid has assisted all age groups from infants to grandparents. And small sachets of oral rehydration salts has saved the lives of those suffering from high-fever illnessses caused by unclean water supplies and deadly viruses.
This work has been recognized by the President of the Philippines and the Philippines Secretary of Health, Dr. Enrique Ona, as especially vital and timelyduring difficult survival time for countless families and children and senior citizens who have lost families in the calamities.
In a May 6, 2013 letter to AAI and our donors, Philippines Secretary of Health Dr. Enrique Ona, MD stated : "Our heartfelt gratitude. Your generosity will surely go a long way in making an immnediate difference in the health and lives of our people."
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