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SASA aims to promote international and inter cultural understanding through the Development Educational Program.

Idea of the program is to introduce concerned sensitive individuals to rural development projects within India so that they may gain an in dept understanding of the myth and reality of ” Third world poverty” .

The program is not meant for” helping  the poor, undeveloped “people living in Indian villages; but rather to participate in what is being done by grassroot development projects. the program is open to both skilled and unskilled participants. Those who wish to join the program should be sincerely intersted in visiting a rural development project to understand the reality or rural India. It should not matter to them where they are placed and what work they are assigned.

SASA has a policy of not accepting more than two or three participants to their project at the one time. this facilitates better integration and interaction with the community and project. It also ensures that the natural rhythm of the project is not disturbed.

Application or request from the Volunteers who wish to join  the program ,must reach the Office at least 30 days in advance. Participants must arrive in Dehradun for one week  orientation and placement discussion. The minimum stay on a projects or projects is one month . One could ,of course,stay longer.

The Development Education Program(Volunteer Program) provides participants with the opportunity to:

  •  Live in a village and lead a simple life
  • Study and interact with a rural community
  • Understand the work and the role of rural development projects
  • Directly support the work of a project
  • Question the very concept of Poverty
  • Recognize misconceptions about “third world poverty” and progress.
  • See how development funds are used.
  • Understand how poverty is used as a tool of domination and creating dependence.
  • See the gap between rhetoric and reality
  • Understand and appreciate other cultures
  • Introspect one’s own contribution towards society and creating a better world.


Program Expenses

Participants are expected to cover all expenses-travel, food, accommodation and other incidentals. At the projects they have to contribute at least  Rs. 10,000(Appr.  130 Euros) per month for food and accommodation in order not to be a burden on the projects resources.

SASA believes that the money spent by the project on visitors  should be spent on the community instead.

Who can join the Development Education Program ?

Those who wish to join the program should be:-

  •  At least 18 years of age.
  • Physically fit
  • Emotionally and mentally stable.
  • Insured against sickness and accident.
  • Willing to stay at least 30 days on a project
  • Willing to lead a simple life
  • Willing to eat simple food.
  • Capable of living without regular Electricity
  • Capable of managing without running water
  • Sensitive to local culture and customs
  • Respect project rules and regulations
  • Sensible enough to dress in cultural context.
  • Understand they are “learners ” & beginners.
  • Motivated enough to take initiative when needed.
  • Strict and sincere about not taking drugs or alcohol.

” No progress can be imposed on anyone, Progress must emerge from within our Cultural identity. It must relate to our beliefs and aspirations. Modernity itself is not the answer to everything. We must seek solutions that are currently integral, which fit in with our traditions and environmental needs. No government can impose anything on people. Not even progress.” -Baba Amete(Social worker)



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