Low-Tech Training

Jay Reeves (The Associated Press) had the following published in the SLTrib (19 Nov 2010):

Hundreds of people from about 85 countries have come to rural Alabama for training in the 31 years since the opening of Servants of Faith and Technology, or SIFAT (which is pronounced SEE fat).

It was founded by Ken and Sarah Corson, a missionary couple who moved to Bolivia in 1976 and were inspired to come up with a way to improve life for residents of the world’s poorest areas.  They returned to American three years later and founded SIFAT in east Alabama near Lineville for a simple reason:  Sarah was from nearby Wedowee, and they got a good deal on the land.

Today, SIFAT operates on a 186-acre campus that includes classrooms, gardens for research and demonstration, outdoor training labs and a “global village” area where American visitors can visit and stay in mud huts and open-air houses like those that are common in much of the world.

The story continues with some specific examples:

On a recent day, 19 trainees from 10 countries learned how to make efficient, clean-burning stoves from mud bricks.  The small , boxy structures replace open fires that WHO blames for 1.6 million deaths annually in the world’s poorest countries.

On other days, they will learn how old tires can become the foundation for gardening systems that use only a little water.  They will find out how sand can be used as a filter to rid drinking water of dangerous parasites.  They will see how ground-up leaves from some tropical plants contain enough nutrients to save the life of a malnourished child.

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