"During the past six years, I have personally contacted more than 200 charities, relief agencies, non-governmental organizations and networks, hoping to find immediate relief for the dying children on Fuga. For one bureaucratic reason or another, none of these groups could do anything.
"THE GOOD NEWS: In the past few months a few international organisations (in Canada, the USA and Europe) have expressed keen interest in helping the people on Fuga, both for the immediate and long-term. However, before these groups will get involved, one condition must be met. The condition is: the Fuga relief project must be formally blessed by the current Philippine Government and clearance received from the current owner of the island.
"OUR LIFETIME COMMITMENT: We are family! We're here for the long haul! For the past six years I have studied the plight of my kinfolk from every angle. On our ongoing annual trips to the remote island, Violeta and I have done everything possible to ease the suffering of the people. We've delivered food, clothing and nutritional supplements. We've distributed desperately needed medicines, and paid for emergency boat transportation to get sick pregnant women from Fuga to hospital on the mainland. In the process we've exhausted our life savings. We've also saved lives!
"GOALS ACCOMPLISHED TO DATE: We've thoroughly documented the plight of the people, the splendour of Fuga, and the awesome history of the island. We created the award winning Fuga Island Web Site. Sponsored by Canada's top university, the Fuga Site won The Orchid Award (USA) and The Golden Cowrie Award (Philippines). We produced The Silent Natives Of Fuga, a documentary film made in cooperation with Simon Fraser University and The National Film Board of Canada. We recently acquired a decent double lot in the coastal town of Claveria (our departure point to Fuga) with plans to build an interim Medical Clinic and Helper's Lodge.
"THE WIN-WIN PROJECT: After six years of research and international networking, we finally have the solution. We know how to solve the health crisis and human needs on Fuga. The solution is through international cooperation. The sick and dying people of Fuga are ripe to receive international support.
THE GOOD NEWS: In April 2002, President Arroyo approved a delgation of medical people whoe travelled to Fuga and provided medical assistance to over 300 island people.
"THINK OF ALL THE ADVANTAGES: President Arroyo, in effect, helps to heal her country's poorest, the people of Fuga, an isolated community where unemployment is 99 percent and infant mortality is 50 percent!!
"FAR-REACHING BENEFITS: The Win Win Fuga project will help sustain long-term relationships between the Philippines and international expatriate communities. It will help build the Philippines through the new millennium. Please (to anyone, and everyone who cares) let us bring the much-needed international support to our loved ones on Fuga. Let's restore Fuga to the paradise it once was, for the natives and for all future generations. The island and its people are a treasure. This way there are no losers. Everybody wins!"
submitted by Karie Garnier (a Canadian author, photographer and filmmaker proudly related to the 2000 Ilokanos on Fuga Island).