MoU between South Asia Foundation
and SOS-Kinderdorf International
South Asia Foundation (SAF) is a voluntary, secular,
non-profit and non-political youth movement. Founded by UNESCO Goodwill
Ambassador Madanjeet Singh, its cardinal objective is to promote
regional cooperation through education and sustainable development
across all levels of society in South Asia. SAF's eight Chapters
- Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan
and Sri Lanka - are registered in each country as national entities
and their decentralised activities are guided by eminent Chairpersons
assisted by members of the respective Advisory Board.
SOS-Kinderdorf International is an International
Child development organisation working in 131 countries and territories
through its member associations. In South Asia it has member associations
in Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.
Ambassador Madanjeet Singh and the SAF Chairpersons
visited Piliyandala, an SOS Children's Village, and other projects
in Sri Lanka during the Second SAF General Conference in February
2003, when Mr. Siddhartha Kaul described to them SOS activities,
which are in tune with SAF grassroots projects. Hence it was agreed
that as they share a number of common objectives the cooperation
between the two organisations should be encouraged.
The first common project was approved as SOS+SAF
Environment camp. It was held for the first time at the SOS Vocational
(agriculture) Training and Vacation Centre in Malpotha, Sri Lanka
from August 12-21, 2003, in which 40 young people from the seven
South Asian countries participated. The objective of the camp was
to expose the youth to the rural life style and to make them aware
of environmental issues and simultaneously foster friendship among
While the entire cost of holding this camp, including
travel, boarding and lodging of participants, was borne by SAF,
SOS Children's Villages helped conduct the camp in their premises.
Worldwide, the experience has been that organisations
such as SAF can hardly sustain themselves and function effectively
unless all the participants share equally the costs and the responsibilities
of joint ventures. Hence, at a meeting held from April 9-11, 2002,
at Beaulieu-sur-Mer, France, SAF Chairpersons decided unanimously
that SAF shall not undertake any project without a matching contribution
by the host South Asian country.
Accordingly, SAF and SOS-Kinderdorf International
have decided that the ad-hoc practice of negotiating a budget with
the host country be discontinued and the two organisations sign
an MOU, the terms of which are as follows:
1. The number of participating youth - comprising
an equal number of girls and boys - will be decided and the deserving
ones selected jointly by SOS Children's Villages and the SAF Chapters.
The selection of participants from Afghanistan, Bhutan, and Maldives
will be done by SAF Chapters as there are no SOS villages in these
2. SAF shall pay for the participants to travel
by the cheapest land or air route from their hometown to the venue
of the SOS/SAF Camp. The youth will travel unaccompanied.
3. Regional Co-operation being SAF's principal
objective, the SAF Chapters in the host country shall arrange and
pay for the holding of a seminar on the subject as a part of the
camp's programme, in consultation with the SOS Children's Village
organisation in that country. SAF shall also pay for the travel
and hotel accommodation of the teachers invited to create awareness
among the youth on the merits of regional co-operation in South
4. In addition, the SAF Chapter in the host country
shall arrange and pay for a documentary film (DVD) about the camp,
as was done in Sri Lanka.
5. In conformity with the decentralized SAF regulations,
all travel arrangements and the costs of tickets shall be the responsibility
of the respective SAF Chapters in each country, done in consultation
with the local SOS Children's Village organization.
6. All other expenses for organizing and conducting
the camp, including board and lodging would be met in full by the
SOS organisation in the host country.
UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador
Founder, South Asia Foundation
SAF Chairpersons in