“In 2003, we started Sadhana Forest in Auroville, Tamil Nadu. The 70-acre land was barren and my wife Yorit and I were the only ones there with our 3-year-old daughter. Volunteers started joining us and very quickly, we had a little community building up”, tells Aviram Rozin, founder and International Director of the project.
“Initially, the reforestation work did not go so well. Soon it became clear that the main missing resource was water, so we started doing intensive water conservation and that immediately made a huge difference. The trees we planted started growing faster, birds and rodents brought more seeds that germinated on the land and intensified the natural regeneration. Today the forest is very vibrant and diverse in terms of both flora and fauna. From no birds we are now up to 53 species!”
“The community integrates many sustainable practices like using only solar and human powered energy, dry composting toilets, building with local and natural materials, eating organic vegan food, using rocket stoves, saving water, etc. Also, in the last few years we have been working with local children, introducing them to different sustainable practices and encouraging them to use their own curiosity and creativity.”
“In order to complete the circle of compassion we have started two more projects. The first is the animal sanctuary to save animals from slaughter and give them a loving and caring environment to live in; the second is the ‘UniverCity of Compassion’ in which participants are invited to explore compassionate action in their own personal and professional lives.”
In 2010 they started Sadhana Forest Haiti in order to address malnutrition of the local population through the planting of indigenous drought resistant food producing trees. In 2014 they started Sadhana Forest Kenya with the same focus. Sadhana Forest is a volunteer based organization. They host more than 1,000 volunteers a year in India and are looking for more volunteers in India, Haiti and Kenya!