Silsoe Aid for Appropriate Development (SAFAD) is a British charity run by students of Cranfield University. Since 1969, SAFAD has sent over 340 graduate and post-graduate volunteers to almost 40 different countries in the developing world. The volunteers work with local organisations on existing and new projects. They provide technical assistance and expertise, and receive field experience in return. It is an opportunity for very specific and practical education to be put to work to help those in need. Every SAFAD volunteer has been a Cranfield graduate or post-graduate student in various disciplines such as water, soil and environmental sciences, engineering, management and health. 

As part of its annual program, SAFAD (Cranfield University’s Charity) celebrated its annual week-long event which commenced on the 17th of February 2019 with a funny relay race among the student body on the school rugby pitch. It was an exciting moment to have students from different backgrounds come together to have fun for a good course. This set the tone for the rest of the week’s event. It continued from Wednesday the 20th to Friday the 22nd of February. The CSA became a busy venue during this period as available projects for the year 2019-2020 were presented to the students and prospective volunteers. This was an interesting time as projects from 7 different countries were presented (including Sierra Leone, Uganda, Mexico, Nigeria, Benin, Togo, and Ghana). As this was ongoing, all SAFAD executives were on hand to sell snacks and drinks for all who were available. Interested volunteers were given the opportunity to seek clarifications where needed. Thursday night was packed with lots of activities such as a music quiz and karaoke. Everyone who came to join us was pleased with what was ongoing as this gave SAFAD the opportunity to accrue some funds through the sale of drinks towards sending volunteers abroad. Students from more than 15 countries were around to participate fully in the events.

The stage was then set after Thursday night’s event for the crowning of the week’s celebration. The success of the previous events meant that we were expecting much more people on the last day. Friday night didn’t disappoint as almost double the number of people who had attended the previous event showed up. Our event team had to quickly double up its resources in order to cater for the increasing number of teams who were at hand to partake in the Beer Pong Competition. The team tried its best to accommodate and register all interested parties, which made the competition very successful. Two teams (one made up of two French students and the other team was made up of an English and an American student). At the end of the mouth-watering encounter between the two teams, the flags of the United Kingdom and the United States were raised high. The French counterparts gave us an exciting final match but lacked the finishing touch. We all celebrated together as winners with bottles of Champagne and zoomed right into playing music suggested by students. We danced the night away as the SAFAD week celebrations were brought to a close.

The celebrations came together very well for all participants and from the SAFAD executives, we couldn’t have asked for more. This year also marks the 50th Anniversary of SAFAD, in this regard, an anniversary/fundraising night has been scheduled for the 20th of May, 2019. The anniversary will crown the years’ events and will also be a good time to celebrate what this charity has been able to achieve throughout the years of sending graduate volunteers from Cranfield to developing countries. It will be a night to remember and fortunately for us, the Vice Chancellor will be joining us to celebrate this milestone. Students interested in volunteering for 2019-2020 projects are still welcome to apply for projects through the following: project.safad@cranfield.ac.uk

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