Learn about SAFADGo straight to SAFAD Home pageMake a donation to SAFADPleaseCurrent and past projects



Some History



Skills Available




Pic: Concrete gang number 2, from first Guatemala Project


Some History

SAFAD was started in 1969 after a project to Iran in 1968 when 2 postgraduates of Cranfield University, Silsoe campus, and 2 undergraduates arranged their own sponsorship from companies and organisations and travelled to Iran for 5 weeks. They stayed at the Karaj Agricultural Training Centre in Iran. The primary achievements were investigation into the efficiency of agricultural irrigation systems and demonstrations of machinery and soil conservation techniques to students.

In 1999 a comprehensive 30 year report was drawn up and it showed how over 330 SAFAD volunteers had been involved in over 20 countries between the years of 1969 and 1999. Every one of these volunteers was a very recent graduate or post-graduate qualified specialist in the area of water, soil, or environmental science. There is a summary of some of the projects undertaken at this web-site under past projects. It can be seen that each project has a very concise summary, funding, local partner and clear set of achievements.

We believe that 1000's of people's lives have been made slightly easier due to the work of these volunteers and they have left a legacy of information and techniques that are continuing to improve the welfare of some of the poorest communities on Earth. Our aim is to provide practical pragmatic assistance on the ground, through the use of the latest training and science. Agriculture and water are of extreme importance to the countries and people with which we work and we hope to continue to be able to turn our education and training into direct benefit where it is most needed.


Pic: Building a latrine in Guatemala



Anyone can become a member of SAFAD, and the benefits include regular information about current projects and planned activities and for students at Silsoe membership of SAFAD involves a full range of activities associated with running a charity - like building this web site - or organising activities that generate money for the charity. Generally only members from the previous year who are students at Silsoe are eligible to become a volunteer for the following year.

Have a look at the constitution which follows here, in which the general roles of the committee members are outlined, in case you might want to stand for election for the committee or just lend your support in an area of interest.

If you would like to become a member, please go to the contact page on this website and get in touch with us.




(i) To relieve poverty in any part of the world by promoting appropriate development
(ii) To advance the education of the students of Cranfield University by the provision of work overseas Interpretation

This constitution shall be read in conjunction with the "Rules and Standing Orders" of the Union Society.


Membership is open to any member of the Union Society, on payment of the membership fee.
There shall be three classes of Membership:

(i) Honorary Member

Honorary Members shall be people invited by the committee, whose membership is deemed beneficial to SAFAD, and shall be agreed by Members at a general meeting.

(ii) Full Member

Under this category, Membership is open to any member of the Union Society of Silsoe College, on payment of the membership fee. Membership to this category will close at a time chosen by the committee. Membership will last for one academic year and may be renewed each year. Membership is open to any person on application and payment of an associate membership fee.

(iii) Associate Member

Under this category, Membership is open to any person on application and payment of an associate membership fee.


Voting shall only be open to Full Members

Equal Opportunities

Membership of SAFAD is open to any member of the Union Society of Silsoe College, regardless of gender, race, religion, sexual orientation and disability. Similarly applications to participate in overseas projects are welcomed from any Full Member of SAFAD.


Funds shall be raised from:

(i) Annual membership fees
(ii) Union grant
(iii) Other sources provided that SAFAD shall not undertake any permanent trading activities in raising funds for its charitable objectives.

The committee can spend the funds of SAFAD as it seems fit, provided such expenditure conforms to the Union Society regulations.

An account of all transactions carried out within the UK, host countries and en route locations must be submitted to the treasurer of the Union Society before the report is published at the end of an overseas project. The Union Society treasurer is at liberty to inspect the accounts of SAFAD at any such time as he/she sees fit. Members may be requested to make good any financial deficit which may have been incurred by the project if insufficient funds are available from the sources outlined above. Any Member participating for a second time may be refused a place on the project if insufficient funds are available.

Officers of the Society

To be elected at the beginning of each academic year, with the possible exception of the General Secretary. This post may run for one calendar year to provide continuity, providing the post-holder will be attending Silsoe College for the next academic year.
The Officers of the Society committee shall be:

(i) President
(ii) General Secretary
(iii) Treasurer
(iv) Fundraising Officer
(v) Membership Secretary/Publicity Officer
(vi) Training Officer
(vii) Information Officer
(viii) Project Appraisal Officers*
*representing each Project SAFAD is currently undertaking.

Functions of the Officers

(i) President

The President shall: Represent the SAFAD committee on all occasions where it is deemed necessary, and liase with other individuals and organisations. Chair committee and general meetings. Take charge on the overall co-ordination of SAFAD.

(ii) General Secretary

The General Secretary shall: Take overall charge on the co-ordination of all correspondence. Record minutes of all meetings and see to the proper keeping of Society records. Run the office, and ensure insurance policies and legal documents are kept up to date

(iii) Treasurer

The Treasurer shall: See to the collection, keeping and expenditure of the Society funds in accordance with the standing rules of the Union Society. Ensure a yearly audit is undertaken and submitted to the Charity Commissioners. Ensure that any Bank account containing the Society’s funds is in the name of SAFAD, and that all cheques require the signature of at least two assigned Committee Members.

(iv) Fundraising Officer

The Fund-raising Officer shall: Organise fund-raising events and oversee liaison with potential sponsors. Co-ordinate the sending of written requests for sponsorship.

(v) Membership Secretary/Publicity Officer

The Membership Secretary/Publicity Officer shall: Ensure all Membership lists are up to date. Send a copy of the Society newsletter to every Member once a term. Be responsible for the production and publicising of the SAFAD image through literature, photographic material and the media. Co-ordinate presentations and to ensure the required materials are available.

(vi) Training Officer

The Training Officer shall: Identify the training needs of potential SAFAD volunteers. Organise training to fulfil those needs.

(vii) Information Officer

The Information Officer shall: Be responsible for the organisation of SAFAD’s information resources, particularly the computer database. Ensure that this information is kept up to date.

(viii) Project Appraisal Officers

The Project Appraisal Officers shall: Oversee the selection of suitable projects and the adequate preparation of teams and equipment.


Any member of the Society whose behaviour goes against the aims of the Society shall be referred to the Executive Committee of the Union Society.

Election of Officers

All full Members of Society shall be eligible for election to the post of officers of the committee. It is advisable that at least one committee member should have been involved with SAFAD in the previous academic year.

Provisions for the winding up of SAFAD

In the unlikely event of SAFAD being wound up, any surplus moneys will be given back to donors where possible. Where donors cannot be traced, surplus moneys will be directed to an organisation with aims similar to those of SAFAD. This organisation will be determined by the Members of Society at that time.

Changing the Constitution

In order to change any part of the constitution a vote will be taken and two thirds of the residing committee must agree.


Skills Available

SAFAD are able to offer skills in several six key areas:

Water supply and Management


Irrigation & Drainage

Land Use & Soil Conservation

Crop Storage & Marketing


Water supply and Management:

SAFAD has been involved since 1988 in the design an construction of gravity-fed water supply systems in a number of villages in the Guatemala Hills, relieving the local Mayan Indians of arduous treks to the nearest springs and reducing the risks of disease. Similar systems have been developed for villages in Cameroon, Uganda and Burkina Faso.


SAFAD constructed a water storage and sanitation system for La Finca de los Ninos Orphanage, Northeast Honduras. The health of the children was improved by replacing the original polluted supply with clean water source. The children were also taught about the importance of hygiene.

Irrigation and Drainage:

Irrigation and drainage plans were drawn up for the Arusha Region of Tanzania, as part of the Ministry of Agriculture's national Land Use Planning Programme. A survey by SAFAD in the Bauchi State of Northern Nigeria revealed the poor condition of many farmer's irrigation equipment. Subsequently, a training programme was introduced to educate the local workers in pump assembly an maintenance.

Land Use and Soil Conservation:

Soil erosion is particularly severe in the Kanjira area of Kenay. To combat this problem SAFAD worked with local women's groups and schools, introducing them to soil conservation measures, such as tree planting for reforestation, and the construction of brush wood dams for gully restoration. Between 1988 and 1990, subsequent SAFAD teams initiated and established an agricultural programme including a demonstration farm, at Padhar Hospital, India, to complement the hospital's health care work. SAFAD has also co-operated with the German Development Organisation DED, who are responsible for soil conservation and agroforestry programmes in 100 villages in Northern Burkina Faso. In the drought prone area around the town of Djibo, a SAFAD team, including Land Resource Planners and Range and Water managers, provided the specific skills required to develop the area's potential.

Crop storage and Marketing:

A SAFAD market evaluation in St Lucia, West Indies, showed that there was potential for the expansion of the ripe banana market. As a result of this, a small-scale banana ripening unit was designed and built. Previously, 10% of bananas grown were rejected as unsuitable for export, but the addition of local ripening facilities has enabled poorer farmers to improve their income.


through agricultural training programmes SAFAD has played a key role in the retraining of unemployed school leavers from the urban areas of the Zambian Copper Belt, to ease their resettlement into rural areas.

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SAMSON stands for SAFAD Associate Members Source of News. Sorry about the iterative acronym, its a little tortured we know :-). Anyhow its a Newsletter. In the future we may distribute this by email but previously we printed copies and used regular mail. You can download previous versions from the following links.

These are WORD documents - if you would like a printed version - please contact us using the contact page in this web-site.

SAMSON Winter 2002

SAMSON Summer 2003



Sir Crispin Tickell's address to SAFAD Members This is an Adobe PDF document

Volunteer Application Form This is an Adobe PDF Document






SAFAD Silsoe Aid For Appropriate Development ©2003. All rights reserved.
Associated with Cranfield University Silsoe Campus.