Silsoe Aid for Appropriate Development (SAFAD) is a British charity run by students of Cranfield University. Since 1969, SAFAD has sent over 340 graduate and post-graduate volunteers to almost 40 different countries in the developing world. The volunteers work with local organisations on existing and new projects. They provide technical assistance and expertise, and receive field experience in return. It is an opportunity for very specific and practical education to be put to work to help those in need. Every SAFAD volunteer has been a Cranfield graduate or post-graduate students in various disciplines such as water, soil and environmental sciences, engineering, management and health. SAFAD volunteers are able to offer skills in six key areas of development. They are:
As one of the largest areas of SAFAD’s work, our involvement in water is diverse and extensive. Volunteers plan, design and implement water supplies. They assist in user-group capacity building, enabling communities to operate and maintain existing networks.
Volunteers’ expertise in water for the environment and natural resource management allows us to offer a range of projects encouraging agroforestry development.
Volunteers’ knowledge in sustainable agriculture techniques has helped to promote the sustainable use of soil and water resources to increase food security.
Volunteers have been active in research, education and training in order to ensure project sustainability for NGOs.
Volunteers have worked in small scale business management and marketing, and supported micro-credit initiatives. SAFAD works to help secure livelihoods through the development and support of income generating activities.
By sustainably using technology, volunteers build upon the existing skills, knowledge and cultural norms of women and men in developing countries, cooperating with local organisations.