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  The First SAF-SOS Environment Camp, Malpotha, Sri Lanka
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SAF entered into a cooperation agreement with SOS-Kinderdorf International, an organization which has done some remarkable work in taking care of the orphaned and economically weak children by setting up SOS Children’s Villages in 131 countries worldwide. In South Asia it has member associations in Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

At the Malpotha camp participants
realized how compost is indispensable
to organic farming and animal husbandry
and learned how to harness its enormous
economic potential.

The first SAF-SOS joint project approved by the SAF Chairpersons, was the Environment (agriculture) camp which was hosted by the SOS Vocational Training & Vacation Centre in Malpotha, Sri Lanka, from August 12-21, 2003.

The objective of the camp in which 40 young people from the seven South Asian countries participated, was to expose them to the rural life style and environmental issues while at the same time fostering friendship and cooperative spirit of regional cooperation.

On that count the camp succeeded admirably. It provided the youngsters the experience of working together in a rural environment, respecting ecological principles and living in harmony with nature. Besides the experience of working on the land in a rural environment, they realized the benefits of protecting the environment and sustainable development.

Above all they developed close ties with each other as they worked and played together, learned from each other how to cook different South Asian recipes and had fun singing and dancing together as they exchanged information regarding their respective cultures.

Agriculture being the main subsistence of over eighty percent people in South Asia, the huge success of Malpotha camp lay primarily in making the participants conscious of how its enormous economic potential could be harnessed by acquiring professional skills for gainful employment.

Hence it was decided that in future SAF-SOS vocational training camps be held annually in each of the eight South Asian countries in rotation, starting with Bangladesh in 2004.

Click here for a full report on the camp

Clik here for the Memorandum Of Understanding of the SAF - SOS

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