Sadhana Forest

Sadhana Forest

About

Sadhana Forest is an international vegan organization working on water conservation, indigenous reforestation and food security in India, Haiti and Kenya.

Founded
2003
Headquarters

Sadhana Forest
Auroville 605101
Tamil Nadu
India

Reviews

Bitmoji
Mark
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

It's a awesome vegan community, there is not just a sense of doing good by planting trees but a sense of togetherness and of community.

The food is Vegan the lifestyle is simple and lovely.

The 2 sevas a day along with the community sevas help the functioning of the community. Seva a selfless act in essence is the spirit of the community. We all pitch in to help the community run smoothly.

If it is serving lunch or being a runner to bring plates to everyone before meals the community sevas show the togetherness of all.

The water conservation techniques used are beautiful and the forest itself is filled with trees and life.

Volunteering at Sadhana Forest has enriched me as a human being as I grew with the trees.

I wish everyone could experience what I did.

Peter
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

My visit to Sadhana Forest Haiti was an unforgettable experience. This place is a truly unique opportunity to experience what it is like to invest your time and energy into a project that really matters. With the experience of more then 7 years Sadhana Forest Haiti is cooperating with the local people to create food forests for long-term food security and restoration of the environment. Sadhana Forest Haiti is a place of hope and love based on wonderful core values like, veganism, gift-economy, unschooling, sustainable living, zero-waste etc. By volunteering at Sadhana Forest Haiti you have the unique opportunity to meet amazing like minded people and explore the beauty of the Carribean as well. I highly recommend you to pay Sadhana Forest Haiti a visit and help this amazing project in a place where your help is really needed!

What would you improve about this program?
It's already amazing and the more volunteers the better!
Mike
Mike
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I came to Sadhana Forest Kenya after having spent a good amount of time at Sadhana Forest India. At this outpost about three hundred kilometers from Nairboi, (and about fifty kilometers from the nearest paved road or electrical grid), the spirit of service and eco-friendly living are every bit as alive and inspiring as in India.

Sadhana Forest Kenya is a volunteer community whose main goal is to establish food and water security in the Samburu region through planting local, indigenous, drought-resistant, food producing trees. Locals can come here for traning, and Sadhana Forest staff and volunteers also pay visits to homes, schools, churches, and so on in order to plant the trees raised in the nursery here.

Every aspect of life in Sadhana Forest Kenya is meant to compliment and contribute to the work - thus the solar and wind power, vegan kitchen, compost toilets, low-flow handwash stations, simple accommodation. If you have ever considered steering your life in a more eco-friendly direction, this is the place to see and feel these values in action.

Sadhana Forest Kenya also provides drinkable water and solar charging power for locals, which is crucial in an area with no electrical grid and frequently low water reserves.

Sadhana Forest Kenya also provides an opportunity to meet and work alongisde Samburu people; to live simply and close to nature; to create solid bonds with other volunteers; to enjoy top-quality sunrises and sunsets every day; and to see the stars and milky way at night.

Please visit, or even better, come stay! It's an amazing project, staffed by truly dedicated people, doing important work. My month here has been beautiful and I'm sure I'll be back again.

What would you improve about this program?
More Volunteers!
Alex
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Sadhana Forest surprised me in many ways, I did not expect to develop such a deep connection with the land and with myself. The conservation work Sadhana Forest does is long term and sustainable and the local community really understands the benefits and gets on board wholly.

I particularly learned a lot about self reliance, I enjoyed learning how to fix a a 4x4 van, and to upgrade a solar electrical system. Also about living simply, there is free time to read, talk or to improve a skill, away from all the stresses of modern, connected life.

The food is amazing, vegan, whole foods were not the main factor for me coming to Sadhana Forest but after eating like this for a few weeks I feel I have so much energy, not to mention every meal is delicious, particularly the chocolate mouse.

All in all I would really recommend Sadhana Forest, for growing yourself there is no better way to spend a few months.

Also you get a great tan!

What would you improve about this program?
More people need to know about this fantastic project.
Aiko
Aiko
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

If you are looking for an authentic and once-in-a-lifetime experience, wish to connect with the wonderful people of the Samburu tribe, want to try the most compassionate diet and eat whole food vegan meals, would like to live without creating any waste, are ready to live within nature and in the most eco-friendly way possible AND wish to plant indigenous drought-resistant food producing trees for the people who need it the most, Sadhana Forest Kenya is made for you :)

What would you improve about this program?
This program can only be improved by more volunteers joining the project! Spread the word :)

Programs

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Alumni Interviews

These are in-depth Q&A sessions with verified alumni.

Mike Roy

Mike grew up in the USA and has been living and traveling in Asia since he first moved there in 2006. He has worked as an English teacher in South Korea, ridden his bicycle over 30,000 km in 14 countries, and spent time at a number of permaculture projects.

Mike Roy

Why did you choose this program?

I had already spent a good amount of time at Sadhana Forest India and think of it as my second - or maybe first - home. I was really interested to see how the organization worked in another, very different part of the world. While the India project works mostly with replanting the forest indigenous on publicly protected lands, the Kenya project works primarily on planting drought-resistant, food-producing trees on privately held land such as homes, schools and churches. I thought it would be a great way to support local people while traveling.

What did your program provider assist you with, and what did you have to organize on your own?

I didn't have any sort of program provider. Some friends and I were already at Sadhana Forest India and contacted Sadhana Forest Kenya directly. We organized our own flights. Since we were traveling in a large group, the staff at Sadhana Forest Kenya helped us to organize transportation from Nairobi to the site. On the way back, I organized the transportation on my own. It was affordable and not particularly difficult.

What is one piece of advice you'd give to someone going on your program?

Be ready for a new experience! Sadhana Forest is in a pretty remote part of Kenya. The landscapes are beautiful, wide-open semi deserts spotted with loads of zebras and gazelles, plus occasional hyenas, elephants and lions. There are NONE of the usual shopping or entertainment facilities that you are probably used to, so volunteers need to be relatively self-sufficient. Bring some books, an instrument, a journal, a camera, a meditative practice, or something else to do in your down time. The campus does have wifi access and plenty of charging power.

Also, be aware that this and other Sadhana Forest projects are places to do service. The focus is on using our time and energy to bring benefits to the local environment and population. The experience of living simply and focusing primarily on giving is one great gift that Sadhana Forest can offer to volunteers.

What does an average day/week look like as a participant of this program?

All the exact details are available on the website and in the welcoming email that Sadhana Forest Kenya will send you once you've contacted them.

Volunteers wake before or around 6:00AM and generally do some work on the land (tree planting, watering, tree care) in the early morning. Then breakfast, then another work session, then lunch, then a break, then some more work before dinner. Volunteers can expect to be working at least six hours per day (which is great, because there's not much else to do there aside from admiring the scenery).

Sadhana Forest Kenya also makes regular trips to nearby homes, schools, churches, hospitals, villages, etc., to plant trees. Generally these trips require two visits - one before lunch to make mounds and prepare for planting, and then one before dinner to actually plant the trees.

Volunteers also participate in cooking meals, cleaning the kitchen, dealing with the food and human waste compost, and other routine maintenance tasks.

There is a weekly Samburu market every Saturday where you can go to buy clothing, produce, simple snacks and souvenirs.

Going into your experience abroad, what was your biggest fear, and how did you overcome it? How did your views on the issue change?

I did not have any particular fears concerning my trip to Sadhana Forest Kenya. I have known the organization for a long time and was confident that I would encounter a truly eco-friendly campus and participate in work that was really serving local needs.

I must admit I was a little apprehensive about Kenya in general; much of what I had read made me a little anxious about the risks of petty theft. I was a little more careful than usual and had no problems at Nairobi or on the way to or from Sadhana Forest Kenya. At Sadhana Forest Kenya itself, I felt 100% comfortable.

What is it like to live a really eco-frienldy lifestyle?

It's awesome! Sadhana Forest serves fresh, local vegan food; composts all food and human waste; uses biodegradable toiletries and cleaning agents; runs on solar and wind power; draws water up from its own bore well; provides free water and charging power to locals; AND actively improves the environment by planting food-producing trees with local people.

Sadhana Forest is a fantastic place to live a life of consciousness, compassion and service. It's also a great way to experience a remote part of Kenya and to get to know local people.

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