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KBI/Tzu Mission to Afghanistan and Cambodia

With Coordination provided by the AFPC - Asia Pacific Initiative

August 19, 2002
Manila, Philippines

Our last Update ended with us unloading the 160 boxes of medicine into the temporary storage facilities in Manilla. Soon, these medicines will be headed out to Basilan Island to support the Joint Forces' Medcaps there. That was nearly a week ago.

Since then we have met with several people in Manilla, re-visited some of the people and their projects that we had initiated in June when we were here. Tomorrow we will travel to Zamboanga and, on Wednesday, on to Basilan Island.

Before flying down to Zamboanga, we had several people to meet with in Manila.

Lanao Foundation:

Elmer Sayre and the Lanao Foundation:

Back in June, we had spent several days with Elmer Sayre and his Lanao Foundation. His group was the first to show us around Mindanao. While there in June, we contributed to his Buffalo Project, where his foundation uses Buffalo as capital and loans them out to farmers in the area. He has about 700 animals in this project so far, and Knightsbridge contributed another 10 to the project last June. Since then, we have worked with Elmer in the concept of the Buffalo Bank, and have talked up the idea everywhere we have gone. We may now have parties interested in donating another 20 or more animals to the project.

During our time together, Elmer and his assistant, Vangie Ontiveros, accompanied us to a meeting with the Ambassador from the United States to the Philippines. The Ambassador had read the information we had provided him earlier on this Buffalo project, and he was interested in hearing Elmer's ideas on how the project could be expanded to other areas of the Philippines.

While Elmer was in town, we took advantage of the time to follow up on some of the other projects we have going with him in the Lanao Del Norte region of Mindanao. The water catchment project we funded is nearly complete. The potential well project in Susu is still being reviewed for feasibility. We had committed the costs of either drilling the well, or furnishing the well head equipment. At this point it now appears as though the civilian affairs groups of the military may be in a position to drill the well. We will track this project as they develop.

The Governor of Lanao Del Norte, Governor Dimaporo, fortunately was in Manila on a business trip at the same time, and we were able to meet with the Governor and Elmer together. The Governor, in conjunction with the Lanao Foundation are exploring the possibility of funding a purchase of a large value of medicine that Knightsbridge has made available to them at a large discount. We have found a package of medicine worth $1 million that we can make available to them for under $70,000 plus shipping costs. The Governor is working with local businessmen in his area to see if they can take advantage of this package, and if it happens, the Lanao Foundation will be our local representative NGO organization to receive the medicines.

Father Flynn and the Mungyans:

We had never met with Father Flynn, but through Mr. Ed Pooley, his friend and ours, we had made a contribution towards his work with the native Mungyan tribes on the island of Mindoro. Father Flynn has been working on this island for about 30 years. The only assistance he has ever received except from family and friends, was from the armed forces back in his beginning years. Father Flynn is half Irish, and half Philippine. Ed Pooley participated in this support when he was on active duty here. Knightsbridge contributed $2,500 towards his work on our last trip here, in June.

Father Flynn arranged his schedule to be able to meet with us in Manila, and update us on his plans for his community. Much of his work deals with working directly with the local farmers, introducing methods of sustainable agriculture to them, allowing them to be quickly on their own, and not dependent on a dole from a government or charity.

This independence philosophy also is at the base of the Buffalo Bank in Mindanao. So, we brought Elmer together with Father Flynn and Ed Pooley to discuss how Father Flynn could replicate the good work of Elmer Sayre and the Lanao Foundation. The two men left the meeting with definite plans and ideas on how this program could be expanded.

Meeting with the Ambassador:

In discussions we had with Embassy personnel, and in our meeting with the Ambassador, we learned of a program that the embassy had initiated to raise funds to construct a community center building in a village north of Manila. Since our last visit to the embassy, several of the personnel there have continued their involvement in their local civil affairs program, and we learned of this project that was in the fundraising stage. The Embassy had a matching funds program after a certain level of involvement, and we were told that a gift of $1,000 would take them to their matching fund level of $4,000. With the Embassy's matching fund of $4,000, the total of $8,000 is the budget for constructing this community center.

Knightsbridge donated this final $1,000 and gave the contribution to the Ambassador. It is expected that the project should start soon.

This has been a busy few days of meetings. A lot of good connections were made, not only by us but between the folks we have worked with, that will enable the projects we were lucky enough to be involved in, to continue after we leave.

Tomorrow, we leave for Zamboanga, and then on to Basilan Island to participate in the Medcaps.

Photos include:

  • 4490 Ed, Walt, and others with the packed up medicines for the first 5 of 40 Medcaps. We will taking these medicines with us to Basilan.
  • 4492: Ed and the Ambassador.
  • 4494

Thanks again for all of your support. Our next report will be from Basilan Island in the far south of the Philippines.

Walt Ratterman, with Ed Artis, Al Santoli, and Adrian Belic
Manila, Philippines
August 19, 2002
www.kbi.org

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