Spirit of America's Blog
Jack and the Beanstalk, corrugated tin help children in Asia Pacific
In this post:
- Books from Spirit of America help children and US Embassy in the Maldives.
- $3,426 is needed to help a school in the Philippines that was attacked and damaged by terrorists. You can help here.
SoA and US Embassy help children in the Maldives with books
Thanks to your help, Spirit of America provided 168 books at a cost of $1,295 to support education in the Maldives. Including favorites like The Ugly Duckling and Jack and the Beanstalk, the books from SoA were presented to Thinadhoo Primary School by the US Embassy in a ceremony in January.
Needs and Instability Exist in Bangladesh
I was in Dhaka, Bangladesh earlier this month meeting with US military and civilian personnel to discuss how Spirit of America's assistance could help improve stability in the country. During one of my meetings I heard about a great organization called Thrive. They are an all-volunteer organization that provides lunches to school children in underserved areas around Dhaka. One of my afternoons turned out to be relatively free of meetings so I was able to accept an invitation from Rick, one of their volunteers, to go with them and deliver meals at a local school.
What was a normal day in the life of a Thrive volunteer made a real impact on me. See, the school we delivered lunch to wasn't a typical school by Western or even Bangladeshi standards. It was a sidewalk school that provides education to children who live in the slums around Dhaka. A sidewalk school is exactly the image that probably came to your mind— a classroom's worth of students gathered on tarps on a sidewalk, learning to read, write and do arithmetic. However, with all that the school offers academically, they still didn't have a food budget. This is where Thrive helps out.
SoA Boots on the Ground in Iraq
Thanks to the generosity of our supporters, we've been able to give 40,000 of the most vulnerable children who escaped ISIS boots to protect their feet from raw sewage and the mud, rain, and snow of winter. Still more boots are on the way.
This has been an inspiring grassroots effort ... there are the middle schoolers in Mississippi who raised $1,200 in a day, the American woman in Italy who donated to buy 1,200 pairs of boots, the church in Milwaukee who collected $1,500, the K-8 school kids in Maryland who collected enough loose change in a "Penny War" to purchase boots for 173 Iraqi children.
To me, you all represent what is best about our country and our values. You are the real spirit of America.
Greetings from SoA’s New Project Manager
My name is Matthew, the newest member of the Spirit of America field team. I came on board at the beginning of January to serve as the project manager for the Middle East. After only a short period working alongside veteran project managers Chris Clary and Isaac Eagan, I am confident in the profound effects we can achieve in support of US interests.
New project manager Matthew Fielkow is doing assessments in the Middle East
Livelihood Opportunities for Philippine Refugees
Imagine more than 200 armed fighters marching into your town, taking hostages and using your friends, family and neighbors as human shields. Then imagine this lasting for 19 days, over the course of which 10,000 homes in your city are burned. Some 120,000 Filipinos don't have to use their imagination; this was their reality during the Zamboanga siege that took place a little more than a year ago. Many of those who fled in search of safety still live in temporary housing or refugee camps because when the siege was over and security forces regained control; there wasn't anything for them to go back to. I recently returned from a trip to the southern Philippines where I visited one of the refugee camps and had the opportunity to meet many of the refugees and their families. I had traveled there to meet these survivors and see the impact, first hand, of a project Spirit of America funded to improve livelihood opportunities for them.
Job Opportunity: Field Operations Project Manager
Spirit of America seeks exceptional individuals with US military backgrounds (E-5 or higher) to serve as Project Managers for our work in Africa. The Project Manager will work in close cooperation and coordination with US military personnel and diplomats in security and stability operations. He/she will be responsible for providing rapid humanitarian and economic development assistance for needs identified at local levels in some of the world's most challenging environments.
This is an opportunity to see immediate results from one's work and to directly impact US national security and foreign policy objectives. The Project Manager will improve the safety and success of our troops and diplomats and the well-being of local populations. The Spirit of America Project Manager must have tactical-level experience in Iraq, Afghanistan, and/or other current stability and security operations combined with optimism, patience, and a great sense of humor in the face of adversity. French language skills are strongly preferred.
This position includes 4-6 weeks of training at the Spirit of America headquarters in Los Angeles. Upon completion of training, the Project Manager will be based out of the Los Angeles office where he/she will manage Spirit of America programs and projects in support of US military and civilian personnel deployed to Africa. In the future, this position may shift from being US-based to being based in the assigned region.
Boots and best SoA year-end ever
First: all of us at Spirit of America give our sympathy and support to our friends and allies in France. The terrorist attacks in Paris are an example of what we are all up against.
In the last six weeks, Spirit of America received $1.1 million in donations. That is our best year-end ever. And, our project helping children who escaped ISIS received more donations than any SoA project since 2004. Incredible. Thank you.
Those funds are being put to work immediately. We have hired a new Field Representative to increase our support to the mission against ISIS. Projects have been funded and implemented in the Philippines, Georgia (the country), Syria, Honduras and West Africa. And, tens of thousands of boots are on the ground protecting the feet of Iraqi children, with more boots on their way.
CBS did a great story on our boots project. Watch it here.
And, in case you missed it, Spirit of America other media coverage recently.