As schools remain closed around the world, students feel isolated from their education, teachers and classmates. In Sulu, Philippines an AAI-sponsored school, Salih Yusah Elementary has created a "House to House" program. The principal, Doctor Merhama, and her faculty team of teachers and the school nurse organized a multi-day event to visit students in their homes. Hundreds of students and their families were visited. The emphasis is on reaching out to those students who have no internet connection or electronic devices and live in the poorest areas of the city.
Sitting together on living room floors, educational assessments were made of student progress since the global pandemic and remote classroom process began. Families were given hygiene kits and school supplies. Gifts of snacks were provided to the children. The Teachers and the Principal were able to re-connect with their students. "You could see it in their faces," observed Doc Merhama. "They were so happy to see their school teachers."
The School Nurse was there to check the general health of the students. She and the team performed psychological assessments of each child, deworming, anti-drug education, and demonstrated the proper way to sanitize hands and wear masks. So far, the event has been a big success. Other schools are now planning to do the same kind of outreach.
Schools are central to a young person's development. Parents trying to teach children at home face many difficulties due to limits caused by their lack of education. The faculty at Salih-Yusah felt a duty to reach out to those students they knew were struggling and lost in the COVID19 crisis. "The families were so relieved to see the Salih-Yusah team arrive," says Doc Merhama, "we were happily welcomed into their homes."
In the Philippines, religious conflict and natural disasters have caused suffering for millions of Filipino children, even before the pandemic. This program empowers elementary school children who are victims of these natural and man-made disasters to feel connected to society. Sulu is 90 percent Muslim and less than 10 percent Christian. Inter-faith education brings communities together and teaches students the value of cooperation and diversity. AAI programs provide books, school supplies, clean water, and hygiene supplies. In response to the Covid19 crisis, we are providing PPE protections, hand-wash, and nutrition programs for more than 5,000 children.
Thank you for your support of this very essential project. If you would like to participate in this week's Little by Little campaign, please click on the link below. The campaign is running from Monday, March 8 to Friday, March 12. GlobalGiving is generously offering a 50% match on donations up to $50.
This is a good time to make a difference as we are preparing these communities to return to in-person education, their school gardens, and school lunches. Thank you!
Unite Inter-Faith Children via Education and Water
Wishing you peace,
Asia America Initiative
In the midst of the COVID pandemic and the battering rain, wind, and 10-foot floodwaters engulfing villages and towns, terrorism and civil war continue to torment the people of the Philippines. Asia America Initiative feels blessed to have groups of loyal donors who have made our ongoing relief programs effective and consistent. In addition, we have emphasized community-based teamwork among local community members. We have bolstered the dignity of men, women, and children to not surrender -- no matter how difficult the natural and man-made calamities are that weigh against their survival.
AAI is pleased to assist ongoing efforts by local villagers and community leaders in the Patikul district of Sulu province to create new villages after years of war and destruction. Many thousands had been displaced and have survived in temporary shelters with support from big-hearted relatives, NGOs like AAI, the Philippine military, and local civic agencies.
For more than 50 years, religious conflict and natural disasters have caused suffering for millions of Filipino children. Our partnership programs empower the forgotten members of society to build model communities utilizing the values of peace and economic development. Inter-faith educational outreach teaches students the value of cooperation and diversity. We provide books, school supplies, clean water, and hygiene supplies. In response to the Covid19 crisis, we are providing protective gear, hand-wash facilities, and clean water systems, as well as nutrition programs for more than 5,000 children.
Sulu Province, with a majority Muslim population and an industrious Christian community, remains near the bottom of the UN's worldwide Human Development Index. In November, AAI proved our commitment to resettling more than 2000 people in two reconstructed villages in the shadow of the Bud Daho mountain. We are targeting at least two additional "Peace Zone" villages to begin resettlement by the New Year.
Giving Tuesday is Tuesday, December 1. If you would like to continue to support this program, your contribution will receive a match from GlobalGiving if made before midnight. Click the link below:
Unite Inter-Faith Children via Education and Water
Wishing you peace in the coming year,
President, Asia America Initiative
The Bright Future Scholar program was created by IPI Foundation and AAI with the support of Visayas State University after the 2013-14 super-typhoon Haiyan brought devastation to the central area of the Philippines. Today, six years later, we continue to conduct this efective program to combine college graduation with job placement training and opportunities.
Our Bright Futures partners and mentors to the students, from Cebu-based IPI Foundation, sent this message to Class of 2020 graduates in Leyte and Iligan, Philippines who were not able to attend formal graduation ceremonies due to the Covid19 pandemic lockdown.
"My Dearest Bright Future Scholars,
We are honored to have been part of your life’s journey. We are extremely proud of you. I will continue to pray for your life's success. My greatest message for you all as I told you before during our training that wherever you are, especially that you are already at the top, please be humble and kind to all people. Be generous, always have gratitude and a pure heart. Be willing to look back where you came from and most especially, seek for God's Guidance. You will always be in good hands if you will do that. Our special thanks and gratitude to Mr. Albert Santoli and to our Partners. May God bless you all."
Communities in Visayas are recovering from natural weather disasters, as well as the economic pain inflicted by the pandemic. In all regions we supply schools with books, clean water, adequate nutrition, and hygiene supplies.
In a region torn by sporadic civil and ethnic civil war, the long-term positive impact of the Bright Futures program empowers Christian and Muslim youth to learn from each other through respective best practices. Asia America Initiative partners with IPI Foundation and One World Institute to serve as a communication bridge for action. Our social media facilitates transparent communication and dispels fear and myths that alienate communities who feel alone and abandoned. Based in local universities and in public schools, positive interaction and equal treatment of various cultural groups by AAI and our wonderful partners facilitates mutual respect and inspiration.
We are blessed and thank all of our donors who empower us to continue meaningful programs during dificult times.
Asia America Initiative believes that becoming active readers empowers children to be future leaders. Our sponsored schools in each major region of the Philippines receive books from AAI quarterly throughout the year for supplemrntal reading and to build their school libraries."The Asia America Initiative's provision of books and classroom guides for teachers has greatly improved our literacy performance to close to 100 percent of our pupils," says Dr. Merhama, principal of Salih Yusah Elementary School in Jolo, Sulu, which has been recognized as one of the leading education centers in the region by the Department of Education.
Books are donated to AAI from our loyal partners in the United States. We review them for quality and subject matter and then ship them to the schools in the Philippines where they are needed most. We receive story booksand text books -- including adult literacy -- in all subject matter. We provide books from Pre School to Post Grad nursing and medical schools. "The blessing of AAI's contribution to our Graduate School and Nursing School," says Dr. Anissa at Mindanao State University in Jolo, "has enabled our university to become a center of excellence in professional development."
The joy of learning on a child's face cannot be underestimated. Some AAI schools allow students to arrive early to read and look through books. Students stand in line waiting for the library to open. Fathers and uncles of students build bookshelves and book trees for their libraries. Parent involvement is the key to success in any school. When parents and teachers work together, students benefit by being part of a safe environment with their educational needs adequaely addressed.
Religious conflict and natural disasters have caused suffering for millions of Filipino children. Our programs empowers elementary schools in regions where children are victims of natural and man-made disasters. Inter-faith education teaches students the value of cooperation and diversity. In addition to books, we also provide school supplies, clean water, and hygiene materials. We also support fresh water wells and school gardens to provide fresh vegetables for daily lunches cooked by volunteer parents. The holistic nature of our programs enhance community-based progress and peace among diverse populations.
"The long-term positive impact of AAI's programs,"says Dr. Merhama," is that they empower Christian and Muslim communities to learn from each other through their respective best practices." AAI serves as a communication bridge for action. Our social media facilitates transparent communication and dispels fear and myths that alienate communities who feel alone and abandoned. Starting in elementary schools, our positive interaction and equal treatment of various cultural groups facilitates mutual respect.
We could not achieve such positive results without the loyal support of our GlobalGiving donors. We ask you to please remember this program during the GlobalGiving "LIttle by Little" campaign betweem March 23 to March 28, when all donations between $10 and $50 will be matched by GlobalGiving at 50 percent.
A new AAI sponsored school' Salih Ututalum has begun construction on a new well for their school. Parents gathered and mapped out a plan for construction and labor. Through your contributions, AAI was able to provide materials to help build the well so that students will have access to clean water daily.
Asia America Initiative prioritizes teachers and parents at our elementary schools to build clean water systems. With WASH facilities at each school, we promote adequate nutrition through school lunches cooked by volunteer mothers. School-based gardens provide fresh vegetables for lunch using drip irrigation from clean water tanks. Soaps and other hygiene products improve children's overall health for better classroom performance and fewer days absent due to sanitation deficiencies. This new well is a great step forward in providing the clean water needed.
In the Philippines, religious conflict and natural disasters have caused suffering for millions of Filipino children. This program empowers elementary schools in regions where children are victims of natural and man-made disasters. Inter-faith education teaches students the value of cooperation and diversity. We provide books, school supplies, clean water, and hygiene. We support literacy, livelihood, school gardening for school lunches-cooked by volunteer parents to enhance progress and peace.
If you would like to keep making a difference to this community in 2020, please click through the project report and select the orange Donate Now button. With your help, we can continue to expand water projects like this one which is so important for a family's day-to-day living. (If you are interested in a monthly donation, GlobalGiving is even offering a 100% match!)
Unite Inter-Faith Children via Education and Water
Thank you so much for your past contribution.
I wish you peace throughout the holiday season and in the new year.
Asia America Initiative
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