The degradation of abject
poverty made a deep impression on Mr. Madanjeet Singh when once
as a student he saw at the Coimbatore railway station in India the
heart-rending scene of a woman cooking rags and old newspapers in
the pot for her four naked children - described in his book This
My People, published in India by Mapin. Hence he was very impressed
by the initiative taken by the late Professor Dr. Hermann Gmeiner,
who established in 1949 the SOS-Kinderdorf International to provide
long-term, family-based care to children worldwide.
SOS Children's Villages came
to India in the year 1964 and thereafter to Nepal, Bangladesh, Pakistan
and Sri Lanka. Today South Asia has 50 SOS villages with social
centres that provide education and care for women and children,
outreach programmes and emergency care. (http://www.sos-childrensvillages.org).
During the Second SAF General Conference
in Colombo, the SAF Chairpersons visited an SOS camp in Malpotha
and approved the resolution adopted by the SAFLI Academic Council
on February 19, 2003, which stated: "Besides PGD-ESD courses,
basic education for the deprived communities and teacher training
with local input shall receive special attention to achieve the
widest possible reach. SAFLI will co-operate with such NGOs, which
are working for the much needed education of abandoned children
as, for example, Maiti-Nepal and the some 50 SOS villages, which
the SOS-Kinderdorf International has established in South Asia.
It is from such grassroots projects that regional cooperation essentially
draws its enormous strength to build a future of peace and stability
in harmony with Nature."
Click here to read more on
the first SAF-SOS Environment Camp, Malpotha, Sri Lanka