South Asia Foundation
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Founded in 2000 by UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador Madanjeet Singh, South Asia Foundation (SAF) is a voluntary, secular, no-profit and non-political youth movement. Its cardinal objective is to promote regional cooperation and peace through education, mutual understanding and creative friendship among the people of South Asia. The aims, objectives and activities of SAF are in conformity with the spirit, purpose and principles of the SAARC Charter.

Since the First SAF General Conference in Kathmandu from December 11-12, 2001, inaugurated by the then Prime Minister of Nepal Hon. Sher bahadur Deuba, SAF has come a long way in developing and expanding grassroots-level educational programmes. The launching of Post-Graduate Diploma course in Environment and Sustainable Development, jointly designed by South Asian Open Universities, at the Third SAF General Conference in New Delhi from December 14-15, 2003, is a historic landmark in the field of distance learning.

The conference is also important because starting from 2004, some 3000 scholarships in a phased programme will be available to disadvantaged students both in higher education and vocational training.

SAF has succeeded in enlarging its regional dimension and sphere of cooperation by including Afghanistan as its eighth chapter. Hon. Hamid Karzai, President of the transitional government of Afghanistan nominated Dr. Sayed Makhdoum Raheen, Minister of Culture & Information, to be the Chairperson of SAF-Afghanistan. He joined his other SAF colleagues — Dr. Kamal Hossain (Bangladesh), Hon.Lyonpo Sangay Ngedup (Bhutan), Hon. Mr. Mani Shankar Aiyar, (India), Hon. Mr. Ahmed Shaheed (Maldives), Dr. Rita Thapa (Nepal), Prof. Salima Hashmi (Pakistan) and Hon. Mr. Mangala Samaraweera (Sri Lanka).

SAF firmly believes that a youth movement, nurtured through culture, technology, the energy and idealism of young people, is the vital source from which regional cooperation essentially draws its enormous strength to build the future of peace, progress and security in South Asia.

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