KBI/Tzu Mission to Afghanistan and
With Coordination provided by the AFPC - Asia Pacific Initiative
August 19, 2002
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
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
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
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.
- 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.
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
August 19, 2002