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.
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