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Auroville International, USA: Sadhana Forest

Reversing desertification by feeding and empowering people.

Auroville International, USA supports Auroville in South India, which is a universal town where people of all countries are able to live in peace and progressive harmony above all creeds, all politics and all nationalities. Auroville is the world’s largest intentional community, with about 3,000 residents from over 70 nationalities living together with a non-hierarchical governance system. It is a place of experimentation and innovation, where creativity is encouraged and hundreds of cutting edge projects are building bridges between the past and the future.

Sadhana Forest began in 2003 with the vision of turning 70 acres of degraded land near Auroville into a lush oasis by planting and caring for thousands of trees. Sadhana Forest now has locations in several parts of India as well as Haiti, Kenya, and Namibia and their main focus is planting food trees that will help sustain the people in the areas being restored. Sadhana forest uses simple yet effective techniques to help restore the water table, protect the soil, and minimize the amount of water necessary for trees to survive. Trees planted by Sadhana forest have an astounding 80% success rate. These volunteer-run projects that engage the local communities to participate in the afforestation of their land.

In 2023, Bently Foundation awarded a $10,000 grant to AVI USA to support Sadhana Forest's Mobile Reforestation project. Communities in Southern India are populated sparsely, and projects can be completed relatively quickly, making a permanent headquarters unnecessary. The mobile reforestation truck that Sadhana Forest uses allows volunteers to arrive in a village, help residents reforest their landscapes quickly, and move on to the next location to repeat the process. The award money will be used to help plant 5,000 new food trees in Dalit communities, which have been historically underserved due to their status in India's Caste system.

Learn more about Auroville International, USA here.

Learn more about Sadhana Forest here.