Apply to Join

Unite Inter-Faith Children via Education and Water

by Asia America Initiative
Unite Inter-Faith Children via Education and Water
Unite Inter-Faith Children via Education and Water
Unite Inter-Faith Children via Education and Water
Unite Inter-Faith Children via Education and Water
Unite Inter-Faith Children via Education and Water
Unite Inter-Faith Children via Education and Water
Unite Inter-Faith Children via Education and Water
Unite Inter-Faith Children via Education and Water
Unite Inter-Faith Children via Education and Water
Unite Inter-Faith Children via Education and Water
Unite Inter-Faith Children via Education and Water
Unite Inter-Faith Children via Education and Water
Unite Inter-Faith Children via Education and Water
Unite Inter-Faith Children via Education and Water
Unite Inter-Faith Children via Education and Water
Unite Inter-Faith Children via Education and Water
Unite Inter-Faith Children via Education and Water
Unite Inter-Faith Children via Education and Water
Unite Inter-Faith Children via Education and Water
Unite Inter-Faith Children via Education and Water
Unite Inter-Faith Children via Education and Water
Unite Inter-Faith Children via Education and Water
Unite Inter-Faith Children via Education and Water
Unite Inter-Faith Children via Education and Water
Unite Inter-Faith Children via Education and Water
Unite Inter-Faith Children via Education and Water
Children learning to cook own meals at school
Children learning to cook own meals at school

In June and July 2017, in the midst of a fierce “war on drugs” across the country and Martial Law declared in the Christian region of Visayas and Muslim Mindanao region of the Philippines, Asia America Initiative Director Albert Santoli made a working visit to AAI-supported communities. The atmosphere of peace and order is being maintained by continuous support of the local schools through extensive community cooperation.  AAI  programs are largely funded by donations from the GlobalGiving worldwide community and the willingness of local residents, school parents and security officials to work together to ensure a “Child Friendly” and safe “Peace Zone” around every school. 

On July 4, a touching and courageous event took place in an elementary school courtyrard on the island of Jolo where ISIS agents are seeking to gain control in Southeast Asia by recruiting children as young as 10 years old into their ranks of terror.  Some 200 children representing 20 local schools, their teachers and parents ignored posted threats by militants and conducted an outdoor celebration of music and dance to express their commitment to a better life without violence and fear.  AAI Director Santoli joined them to celebrate new daily feeding and clean water programs, as well as expanding a Mini-Nurses program designed for children to learn the values of volunteerism and community action.

"Our humble pride is represented by the Munting Mini-Nurses – boys and girls -- who cheerfully serve their classmates in their schools. Life-long friendships will develop with their partners in service to share a lifetime of service together, building stronger and more peaceful communities,”  states Jolo elementary school principal Merhama P.  

“Peace and Progress are a community effort,” she continues. “Transformation of a society begins in the heart of each child.  Their good character has its roots in basic education in the home and in the primary schools. Even during a difficult period like martial law and threats of kidnap by the criminal groups, we can persevere with the help of AAI and other friends from outside of our home area. Teachers and parents are very grateful for your support to these wonderful children who already value their joy in serving others.”

AAI's clean water and nutrition programs have doubled in three years to serve close to 60 schools in Muslim Mindanao and Christian Visayas with a population of more than 50,000 pupils. We are providing books and school supplies for classroom success as well as nutritious food, clean water and basic health needs for thousands of pre-school, elementary and high school students.  By keeping children in school past the age of ten, we prevent them from joining drug gangs, violent communist insurgencies or extremist Muslims who have pledged allegiance to ISIS terrorists.

With your support, we are transforming these communities by being consistent with our presence and providing just enough funding to motivate a "bayanihan" or "communal barn raising" spirit of mutual cooperation.  Each model of success encourages people to believe in their own ability and to take action to transform their communities, no matter if they are Christian or Muslim.  Two trusted leaders of the AAI family, Sulu Dept. of Education Head Nurse Hja. Shareen L. in Jolo and Senior School Administrator Dr. Luz R. in Cuartero, Capiz in Visayas call this process:  Peace-building in Action.  

During International Youth Week 2017, please remember our AAI programs and the brave children and their teachers in our communities, who hold the key to defeating the spread of terrorism, with your prayers and your generosity.

new water tank at elementary school
new water tank at elementary school
Sulu School Superintendent and mini-nurses
Sulu School Superintendent and mini-nurses
Building new madrasa w community action in Jolo
Building new madrasa w community action in Jolo
stuffed toys for children folk dancers in Jolo
stuffed toys for children folk dancers in Jolo

Links:

Share on Twitter Share on Facebook

In mid-March 2017, the children of Langpas and Commander Bara Elementary Schools in Sulu Province in war zones of Muslim Mindanao, Philippines are showing marked improvement in their attendance, health conditions and classroom performances. "They are still benefitting from the Asia America initiative daily MASS FEEDING PROGRAM,"  says Indanan South School District Supervisor Samoore L. "It has been six months  since Professor Albert M. Santoli Asia America initiative president began generously to expand funds for the program's continuous implementation in all 18 of our District's Elementary schools. The positive results of the partnership between our school administrators and faculties, volunteer parents and the humble but hard working AAI have been far beyond what anyone could have hoped for.  This cooperation is an extension of our Tausug tribal cultural tradition of communities working together for the common good." After 50 years of armed conflict and dire poverty, cooperative efforts between peoples of various religious beliefs and cultures is  making a profound difference to make education a fun component of peace building.

The Sulu water, nutrtition and academic excellence program was a direct product of AAI's rebuilding experience in areas detroyed by mega storms in the central Visayas region.  The process of integrating clean water, school gardens, daily lunches cooked by voilunteer Moms and Dads and the rebuilding of libraries in dozens of schools n Christian Visayas and Muslim Visayas remains the program's hallmark. "The AAI inter-disciplinary strategy began in mid-2014 in areas of Panay Island in Visayas region that were destroyed by the Super Typhoon Haiyan," recalls AAI Visayas coordinator Nurse Faith.  At the height of program in 2016 we have fed 2,000 children 4 meals per week --  or 8,000 meals per week -- at 5 pesos per child [10 cents US] of fresh foods locally grown in big pots of soups and stewsd plus rice or noodles for less than $1,000 US total per week, largely from donors through GlobalGiving.  Parents, who consdidered it a matter of dignity to not take charity added the other half of the cost."  Within one school year the rate of post-typhoon malutrition decreased from close to 80 percent to under 10 percent in AAI served communities.  Daily school attendance has increased to close to 100 percent due to the dxel,icious home-cooked meals, and classroom performance and test scores improved off-the-charts. Elmentary school principal, Luz R. observes, "Out of tragedy we found new hope and built our confidence for success."

We look towartd the 2017-18 School year as a time of hope and progress in both Christian and Muslim communities that had once lost their most basic human needs.  We are grateful to all GlobalGiving donors whose kindness has been the fuel for our success.  

"Moms to the Rescue" daily school lunch program
"Moms to the Rescue" daily school lunch program
lunchtime at Langpas Elementary, Indanan
lunchtime at Langpas Elementary, Indanan
School Garden at Bunot Elementary
School Garden at Bunot Elementary
Rainwater Catchment Tank at Mukammali ES
Rainwater Catchment Tank at Mukammali ES
Learning is fun in Indanan South School District
Learning is fun in Indanan South School District

Links:

Share on Twitter Share on Facebook
Honor student receives award from Mom and Teacher
Honor student receives award from Mom and Teacher

In the Philippines today, in the last weeks of 2016, tension is mounting between Muslim and Christian communities fueled by a war on drugs by the government which has claimed an estimated 6,000 lives and has fueled a climate of vigilante reprisals throughout the country.  In addition, a confused peace process between the government and rebel armed groups has left the potential for true peace and social/ economic progress in peril.  More than 150,000 people - at least half are infants and children -- are internally displaced from their homes due to rebel attacks and military operations.  Another 126,000 are displaced after their homes were destroyed in recent devastating typhoon storms. Basic human needs such as clean water and basic nutrition remain in a state of peril.  As a result, Asia America initiative has stepped up the pace of our work to build cooperation and shared reconstruction between people of all faiths and cultures.

Asia America Initiative operates in some of the most deprived and violent areas of the Philippines.  Our message of mediation and building for a better future is based on total community involvement.  Our centers of peace and self-reliance are through local "Models of Excellence and Peace" public and private schools, which are usually politically neutral and cater to all families in the school district.  We provide modest funds to jump-start and sustain programs emphasizing food, clean water and educational books and classroom supplies.  Parents and local residents add to our funding for materials and provide the volunteer labor needed to repair damaged facilities, grow, school gardens and Moms cook school lunches.  School nurses train "Mini-Nurses" in 5th and 6th grade to be all around helpers of their fellow students.

Last November 25, 2016, the School Supervisor of Indanan District, Mr Moore Ladjahali coordinated with AAI to instruct school heads and nurses how equal distribution of AAI first aid medicines assistance would be distributed to 18 elementary schools in Indanan South District.  Supervisor Moore says: "At the meeting the school nurses expressed appreciation and gratitude for the unselfish adoption of AAI for all schools in the District without bias or prejudice. To assure success of the program, certain requirements must be followed like the designation of authorized persons to receive the funds, usually school heads or school nurses. The purspose of the requirements are to officially identify the total number of learners actually enrolled in the schools so that equal distribution of the first aid medicines would be realized. For accountability and oversight, either the school head or school nurse may receive the monetary assistance and keep records on the number of children who are attended to.”

During the last week of 2016, in order to expand our “Peace Zones” that surround each school, we ask for our donors and new friends to please consider our efforts to set an example of hope and cooperation.  Providing children with adequate food, basic health needs and clean water is a great first step!  We thank you for your previous support.  May you all be blessed in 2017.

Lunch cooked by Moms in a Duenas Elementary School
Lunch cooked by Moms in a Duenas Elementary School
Water tank from AAI at Sheikh Mustafa ES, Sulu
Water tank from AAI at Sheikh Mustafa ES, Sulu
Local Priests leads prayers in Visayan 3rd Grade
Local Priests leads prayers in Visayan 3rd Grade
5,000 new school books sent by AAI since January
5,000 new school books sent by AAI since January
Salih Yusah ES  garden made by teachers & parents
Salih Yusah ES garden made by teachers & parents
New water tank at Salih Yusah ES nourishes garden
New water tank at Salih Yusah ES nourishes garden
Graduation Day at Sahaya
Graduation Day at Sahaya

Links:

Share on Twitter Share on Facebook
Moms cook school lunches in Visayas
Moms cook school lunches in Visayas

Poverty, storms, and inter-cultural violence are detrimental to economic and social development in the Philippines. A school-aged population of more than 65 million children and youths are mostly impoverished and malnourished. Sulu Province with a majority Muslim population seeking autonomy, remains at the bottom of the UN's worldwide Human Development Index. Christian communities in Visayas infiltrated by a militant communist party and lumber smugglers are still recovering after Super Typhoon Haiyan.  In both regions, rural populations are caught in a deadly crossfire of hard drug and kidnap gangs and official corruption, Few schools have books, clean water, adequate nutrition and lack basic tools for livelihood training. Since 2002, Asia America Initiative has been working in both regions with a special emphasis on nutrition and clean water, no matter if a child is Christian or Muslim. We have learned from our initial misconceptions to always seek local elders' inputs and listen to include the community to build bridges of progress through positive teamwork and  unselfish partnerships. Programs are tested and sustained through the sharing of  "best practices" via social media.

When we began in 2002, we had a combination of private donations and modest US government funds to conduct a brief 12-month program.  We made the mistake of thinking US government foreign aid agencies would welcome innovation if it led to progress.  By 2003, we received awards from the Philippines President, the Regional Governor and the Philippine Secretary of Defense for creating "peace zones." But after stretching the funds from one year into a two-year program and raising matching funds from private donors, we were shocked when our grant was not renewed.  We learned that it was because we were not appreciated by bureaucrats for "revising" our "work plan" and "adjusting" how we spent funds based on suggestions from honest local leaders. 

Our mistake was expecting bureaucrats to not act like bureaucrats who value the letter of the contract whether or not it is leading to success.  However, we "failed forward" by adopting a more independent and appropriate development strategy based on community meetings and consistent oversite and testing of results.  Since, 2006 when we suffered with the disappointment of the initial grant not being renewed, our programs have grown 5-fold.  We have not taken a single dollar of US government funds, yet we have grown by utilizing basic modalities of grant writing and crowd fundraising through partners such as Global Giving.  We have earned the respect of our beneficiaries who have become full-fledged development partners in addressing nutrition needs, clean water and improved education opportunities.

The long-term positive impact of this program empowers Christian and Muslim communities to learn from each other through their respective best practices. Asia America Initiative serves as a communication bridge. Our social media networks facilitate transparent communication and dispel fear and myths that alienate communities who feel alone and abandoned. 

"AAI has the reputation of being good listeners. As a result, are welcomed and protected by local people. We are receiving requests from many additional schools for AAI support," states Nurse Shareen Mariwa, Head Nurse of the Department Education in Sulu. "We need to extend our partnership programs as we have already met our early goals last year. This is because of the confidence community leaders and parents have that there is more help coming from the AAI through your friendship.  No matter their cultures, religions and languages, we work best when it is for the interest of others.  The well-being of the children is the proven result."

 

mini nurses build mosquito traps in Sulu
mini nurses build mosquito traps in Sulu
rainwater catching tank at Timbagan Elementary
rainwater catching tank at Timbagan Elementary
school children help Dads build new school library
school children help Dads build new school library
mjorettes lead education fiesta parade
mjorettes lead education fiesta parade
Happy meal
Happy meal

Links:

Share on Twitter Share on Facebook
Maindang Elementary:  Healthy Food/ Clean Water
Maindang Elementary: Healthy Food/ Clean Water

Poverty, storms and inter-cultural violence are abundant in the Philippines. A school-aged population of more than 65 million children and youths are mostly impoverished and malnourished. Sulu Province with a majority Muslim population remains at the bottom of the UN's worldwide Human Development Index. Christian communities in Visayas are still recovering after Typhoon Haiyan. In both regions, few schools have books, clean water, adequate nutrition and lack basic tools for livelihood training. Asia America Initiative works in both provinces with a special emphasis on nutrition and clean water, no matter if a child is Christian or Muslim. We are a model building bridges through positive action at community level.

This program is began by assisting 1,000 children in two elementary schools in Sulu and in Visayas.  We overcome extreme poverty and communal violence, through integrated literacy, livelihood skills, and health support. We have created a social media network for Muslim and Christian educators and children to share their new skills, hopes, and dreams. Mothers and fathers of pupils will assist teachers to cook daily meals. We will provide school supplies, garden tools, seeds, and pipes for fresh water.  When necessary, AAI staff rolls up our sleeves and works the land and plants seeds of fresh food and hope alongside our beneficiaries -- who are also our friends.

The long-term positive impact of this program empowers Christian and Muslim communities to learn from each other through their respective best practices. Asia America Initiative serves as a communication bridge. Our social media networks facilitate transparent communication and dispel fear and myths that alienate communities who feel alone and abandoned. The program has been expanded from 2 to 4 elementary schools with a total population of nearly 2,000 children.  

"We are receiving requests from many additional schools," states Nurse Shareen Mariwa, Head Nurse of the Department Education in Sulu, Muslim Mindanao. "We need to extend our partnership programs as we have already met our early goals last year. This is because of the confidence community leaders and parents have that there is more help coming from the AAI through your friendship.  No matter our homelands and language, we work best when it is for the interest of others.  The success of our schools and wellbeing of the children are the results."

We extend deep gratitude to GlobalGiving and our donor community.

Happy Kids at Maindang Elementary
Happy Kids at Maindang Elementary
Mom's volunteer to make the best meals
Mom's volunteer to make the best meals
School Garden at Angub Elementary
School Garden at Angub Elementary
Principal Luz, Teachers and Moms cook school lunch
Principal Luz, Teachers and Moms cook school lunch
Best meal of day for Angub ES kids made by Moms
Best meal of day for Angub ES kids made by Moms
Rainwater Tank at Poblacion ES, Muslim Mindanao
Rainwater Tank at Poblacion ES, Muslim Mindanao
Well fed Chess players at Pasil Elementary
Well fed Chess players at Pasil Elementary

Links:

Share on Twitter Share on Facebook
 

About Project Reports

Project Reports on GlobalGiving are posted directly to globalgiving.org by Project Leaders as they are completed, generally every 3-4 months. To protect the integrity of these documents, GlobalGiving does not alter them; therefore you may find some language or formatting issues.

If you donate to this project or have donated to this project, you will get an e-mail when this project posts a report. You can also subscribe for reports via e-mail without donating.

Get Reports via Email

We'll only email you new reports and updates about this project.

Organization Information

Asia America Initiative

Location: Washington, DC - USA
Website:
Project Leader:
Albert Santoli
Washington, DC United States
$35,863 raised of $50,000 goal
 
271 donations
$14,137 to go
Donate Now Add Project to Favorites

Help raise money!

Support this important cause by creating a personalized fundraising page.

Start a Fundraiser

Learn more about GlobalGiving

Teenage Science Students
Vetting +
Due Diligence

Snorkeler
Our
Impact

Woman Holding a Gift Card
Give
Gift Cards

Young Girl with a Bicycle
GlobalGiving
Guarantee

Sign up for the GlobalGiving Newsletter

WARNING: Javascript is currently disabled or is not available in your browser. GlobalGiving makes extensive use of Javascript and will not function properly with Javascript disabled. Please enable Javascript and refresh this page.