We believe in earth stewardship and environmental action through collective projects for a more balanced relationship between the earth and all its inhabitants.
Our expertise is in ecological restoration and the ethics of holistic approaches to sustainable living, which can be applied in daily life. We provide opportunities for gaining skills through live projects, adventures, workshops, seminars and intensive tours with our core team members and in partnership with our international collaborators. These include:
– Sustainable Building
Our organisation brings together the skills in architecture, ayurveda, biology, bushcraft, landscaping, navigation, permaculture, survival, sustainable construction and water purification.
The ecological problems facing the planet today concern us all as individuals and collectively. Finding solutions provides opportunities for bringing people together from all backgrounds and cultures. The heart of our work is to find ways of reconciling with the plant kingdom, without which humanity and animals would be at risk, and to learn from them. Trees especially provide human communities with a template for mutual care and shared sustenance.
“The very existence of human beings on earth depends on Nature. In truth, we are not protecting Nature – it is Nature who protects us.”
– Mātā Amṛtānandamayī Devī
OUR ENVIRONMENTAL PROJECTS
FRANCE 2017 (ONGOING) – SURYA ECO RETREAT, CANTAL
We are developing our first eco retreat project near le Drillet, in the Cantal region of France, which will offer an environment where individuals, families and groups can revitalise themselves and reconnect with nature through diverse means, ranging from practical to spiritual. The proposed retreat will be a laboratory for ecological living, integral training and education open to all who wish to participate.As we develop this project there will be many opportunities for skills acquisition with our members and collaborators. The project is currently being designed in partnership with Mappamundi Architects and we welcome applications from any partners and volunteers who would like to contribute their resources and expertise as we move into the construction phase.
FRANCE 2014-2016 – LAND RESEARCH AUVERGNE & MIDI-PYRENEES
We were researching, visiting and prospecting for land in central and southwestern France as part of our objective to offer locations worldwide where individuals, families and groups can revitalise themselves and reconnect with nature. Our research was conducted following carefully defined environmental and social criteria, which were developed with our in house agro engineer, landscape architect and permaculture designer.
Reunion 2016 (ongoing) – Permaculture Garden, La Plaine Des Cafres
In August 2016 Surya Reunion was granted use of a 250 m2 plot of land at an altitude of 1400m in Piton Ravine Blanche on which to develop a permaculture garden. The proposed design was carried out in partnership with Luca Piccin, a local specialist in agroecology and Fulvian Faucher, a landscape architect. Work began in December and seeds of fruit trees have been planted at the end of April 2017.
India 2015 – Building Huts, Trichy
Surya World assists with the construction of a hut with their bare hands, as part of their humanitarian project near Trichy in Tamil Nadu, South India. Their contribution saved the custodians of this project about 6 months of labour, with their limited access to manpower and lack of tools.
India 2015 – Planting Evergreen Trees, Trichy
Surya members of all ages from 5 continents plant native evergreen trees in a biodiverse garden project in Tamil Nadu, South India. Over the years Surya World has developed an ongoing relationship with Auroville, where seeds and trees are regularly sourced and a charitable trust near Trichy, where the planting is carried out. Plants are grown and maintained in a simple, ecological manner using principles of biodynamic agriculture and the numerous varieties provide shade, timber, food and medicinal support to the local community. Aside from holding nature awareness programmes with the community’s children, the objective of the garden is to provide a model for the local area that demonstrates how to grow with little water on such dry land. This is one of Surya World’s ecological projects with local partners around the world.
France 2014 – Bushcraft Adventure, Annecy
As part of our objective to provide sustainable living skills, we held a bushcraft adventure in July where participants were trained how to make fires in humid terrain, and shared great moments connecting with nature in the lake of Annecy.
France 2013 – Wilderness Camping Adventure, Auvergne
Our wilderness camping adventure in the Auvergne region of central France provided opportunities for participants to gain bushcraft skills in the summer. The rudiments of how to survive in nature was taught including how to use a knife, cut wood, make fire and archery, all in an atmosphere of fun.
Nigeria 2013 (ongoing) – Development Land, Ogun
Surya World has been donated use of a portion of land to develop an environmental project in Nigeria. The project idea is to create an eco retreat where people can come to for meditation, yoga, fresh air, healthy living and eating. This would be of particular benefit to those living in Lagos, a polluted mega-city that is choked with over 20 million inhabitants. The proposed retreat will have environmentally sustainable structures and chalets for simple living, set in generous gardens. In addition there will be farming on the land of food and medicinal plants. We are seeking local youth focused NGO’s and resource partners for direct involvement and to kick start this project.
India 2013 – Green Volunteers, Kerala & Tamil Nadu
Surya members from the USA, France, Reunion Island and UK serve as volunteers in environmental stewardship projects in Kerala and Tamil Nadu Ashrams.
Mexico 2012 – Reforestation Project, Queretaro
In Queretaro, participation of youth volunteers in reforestation works was done in partnership with Ekocuates Queretaro with the objective of learning the skills and understanding the ethics of sustainable environmental development. Volunteers were responsible for watering all the new saplings during the workshop and a dozen participants carried out planting of around 600 trees over 3 days in the Sierra de Queretaro, organised by Surya Mexico during the months of June and July.
Thailand 2012 – Prospecting for Land, Chiang Mai
We were visiting and prospecting for land in the Chiang Mai province of northern Thailand as part of our objective to offer locations worldwide where individuals, families and groups can revitalise themselves and reconnect with nature through diverse means, ranging from practical to spiritual.
France 2011 – Bushcraft Workshop, Cantal
A 3-day wild camping and bushcraft workshop was organised during the summer in the forests of the Cantal area of Auvergne France, providing the largely urban participants with the survival skills required to withstand and enjoy the experience. Training included navigation, fire making, knife work, archery, identifying shelters and learning survival principles in extreme and unpredictable weather conditions.
India 2011 – Mosquito Deterrent Garden, Trichy
As part of our mission to provide environmental solutions for sustainability and self-sufficiency, Surya World members from France, Mexico, Nigeria, Reunion Island, Singapore and UK developed a mosquito deterrent garden to combat the problems faced by an ashram and orphanage near Trichy. Plant species were selected that could be administered internally, applied to the skin or line walkways as a preventative measure. In addition, we provided the ashram with local seeds from Kokopelli in Auroville that were easy to propagate (beans, tomatoes, cucumber, eggplant, amaranth, etc.) for nourishing the children.
India 2011 – Skills Acquisition, Auroville
During its annual trip to India, Surya World organised intensive tours and workshops with several communities in Auroville, Tamil Nadu that are well known internationally for their innovation in environmental development and green practices. Participants were able to improve their knowledge and obtain skills in ayurvedic plants and herbs, sustainable farming techniques, seed banking and spirulina farming from local experts.
Mexico 2010 – Reforestation Project, Queretaro
Over 20 volunteers planted 2500 pinus gregii tree saplings on 3 hectares of land over a 3-day period in the Sierra de Queretaro. This reforestation project was carried out by Surya Mexico in partnership with a local expert Rodrigo Calderon Gomez.