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
Childrens 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
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
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