The Adopt a Classroom project for Jolo in Mindanao, Philippines is a joint collaboration between the Muslim Women Coalition, based in New Jersey, and the Asia America Initiative in Washington, D.C. This project is focused in Jolo, Sulu; the most impoverished area in the Philippines, located in Muslim Mindanao and threatened by al-Qaeda terrorists. Sulu ranks at the bottom in all categories of health, education, and employment. It leads the country in infant and child mortality and has a 65 percent school drop-out rate by the 6th grade. Through the Adopt a Classroom project, you can provide basic classroom materials to help deter violence and terrorism through building hope in the community, starting with rebuilding schools and hospitals.
When Director, Al Santoli, first arrived in Sulu province in mid-2002, he found overcrowded schools with 60 to 90 children in windowless classrooms in sweltering tropical heat with no running water or restrooms, practically no textbooks and only 1 chair for every 6 or 7 children. Nurses often do not receive money for salaries or medicine for months and usually have to buy small supplies of aspirins and anti-acids out of their own pocket money. The local hospital, which serves 250,000 people, had less than a half-cabinet of medicines, no electricity, and routinely performed surgery without any type of anesthetic.
Currently, the Asia America Initiative, in partnership with the Muslim Women Coalition is providing direct support for some 25,000 students through more than a dozen schools from the pre-school level to college. Throughout the two years of the program, there have been no acts of terrorism based on religious conflicts. A number of classrooms now have chairs, desks, and even some computers. However, much work is yet to be done.
Your generous support is an inspiration to the children and their families in Jolo, who are looking for a better future filled with happiness instead of violence. Education is the key to their success.
List of supplies needed:
Plastic containers with school supplies
Water colors/ Paints
Educational posters for elementary schools
books and story books from pre-school to 4th Grade
Math/ Science/ English text books for High schools
Toys/ Building blocks for pre-schools
Lab equipment -- goggles, microscopes
Over the counter children's medicines -- band-aids, Tylenol, Vitamins etc.
T-shirt/Caps -- the weather is very hot and humid all year round in Philippines
Letters/ Personal Photos/ Videotapes of lifestyle in USA
To take part in this project, please send all materials to:
Asia America Initiative
1523 16th St. N.W.
Washington, DC 20036
Financial contributions are also welcome to purchase supplies in the Philippines. For more information regarding the Adopt a Classroom project, please send your email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you for your generosity and support.
Your friends at the Asia America Initiative,
Al Santoli, President and Director
Children and Youth, Community Building and Reneewal, Economic Development, Education and Academia, Peace, War, and Conflict Resolution, Poverty and Hunger