Training: Environmental Monitoring Training in June

SIFAT is excited about an upcoming training opportunity to be held  June 28-30, 2016, on our campus. The following press release is from the 4-H Alabama Water Watch Program, with whom we are partners for this conference.

The 4-H Alabama Water Watch Program is partnering with five environmental centers around the state, including SIFAT, to provide teachers and volunteer educators with the opportunity to learn to use the Exploring Our Living Streams: Stream Biomonitoring and Water Chemistry Monitoring Curriculum.

During this two-day workshop, participants will learn to use the EOLS curriculum, which is correlated to the Alabama Course of Study and is endorsed by the Alabama Math, Science and Technology Initiative. Participants will also be certified as water monitors and will learn how they can certify youth as 4-H AWW Water Monitors.

Participants who complete this training will receive Continuing Education Units from Auburn University. Food and lodging is provided. This opportunity is funded in part by a grant from the EPA Office of Environmental Education.

*There is a $25 application fee due with registration.

Workshop Locations and Dates:

  • Troy University in Phenix City, Riverfront Campus – June 7-9
  • Weeks Bay National Estuary and Research Reserve in Fairhope – June 14-16
  • SIFAT (Servants in Faith and Technology) in Lineville – June 28-30
  • Black Belt Conservation and Research Institute at the University of West Alabama in Livingston – July 12-14
  • McDowell Environmental Center in Nauvoo, AL – July 26-28

Click here to download a flyer. For more info and to register, click here or call  he AWW Office at 334.844.4785.

Learn & Serve: Birmingham Youth Support SIFAT Training Graduate in Nigeria!

Pastor Ogbatabo is a pseudonym for one of our SIFAT graduates and trainers in Nigeria. Because of his work in a violent area, we want to protect his identity for his safety. Pastor Ogbatabo submitted a proposal to SIFAT, which was approved as a SIFAT international project. 

SIFAT’s Learn & Serve department pledged to help Pastor Ogbatabo fund his project through educating North American youth on the issue of smoke inhalation around the world and allowing them the chance to partner with SIFAT through financial contributions.  Several L&S staff members and leaders from various participating groups have contributed.  One inspiring story of a group committing to fund Pastor Ogbatabo’s project comes from Canterbury United Methodist Church of Birmingham, Alabama.

When students from Canterbury UMC met Pastor Ogbatabo while at SIFAT during Summer 2013, they decided they wanted to sponsor his project in Nigeria. After telling their friends and parents about Pastor Ogbatabo and his work, they decided to take up an offering once a month at their Sunday night youth program.

Canterbury UMC students keep a tally of the amount raised each month on their prayer (chalkboard) wall in a drawing of the rocket stove.

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International Project Update: Pastor Ogbatabo’s Cookstove Training in Nigeria

Pastor Ogbatabo is a pseudonym for one of our SIFAT graduates and trainers in Nigeria. Because of his work in a violent area, we want to protect his identity for his safety. Pastor Ogbatabo submitted a proposal to SIFAT, which was approved as a SIFAT international project. 

Pastor Ogbatabo and participants from the fuel efficient cookstove training that took place in Nigeria during September 2013.

Pastor Ogbatabo, one of SIFAT’s International Practicum graduates, is currently holding trainings in Nigeria to educate community leaders on the importance of fuel efficient cookstoves and water purification.  Pastor Ogbatabo will be holding six trainings during the next year to train about 360 people in making fuel-efficient cookstoves. These stoves not only help the environment by using less firewood, but also improve air quality in the kitchen and help girls go to school—the girls are usually given the task of gathering firewood, often spending most of the day walking to collect wood and keep the fire going.
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International Project Update: September Training in Zambia

Letson Kachoronga is already leading training sessions at the United Methodist Conference Center/SIFAT Training Center in Lusaka, Zambia. Letson participated in last May’s Field Study at SIFAT and also taught some of the agricultural classes. Letson uses Foundations for Farming techniques to teach sustainable agriculture that produces significantly more than traditional farming methods, as well as uses Biblical principles and discipleship. Although the center is not completed, Letson is already training local community members.


Letson Kachoronga, SIFAT Zambia project coordinator, held a three-day training on Sept. 26-28, 2013, at the SIFAT Training Center/United Methodist Conference Center in Lusaka, Zambia. During this training, 20 participants discussed topics including health, leadership skills, community development and agricultural techniques. Letson led classes, as well as hands-on demonstrations.

We had a wonderful three-day training at SIFAT’s Zambia Training Center from Thursday, Sept. 26th to Saturday, Sept. 28th. We had 20 participants from two churches, Matero and Kanyama UMCs. I was really encouraged by the level of willingness of learning that was shown by the participants. We discussed health, leadership skills, community development and agricultural techniques. Pastor Kenneth Kalichi, the new pastor of the Abundant Life UMC that is located on the Center’s property, talked about community development; Patricia and Mavis from Matero, who are part of the Lusaka District leadership taught on health matters and leadership skills respectively; and I spoke about agriculture.

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Training – Field Study: Water, Water Everywhere

 Our May Field Study was held on SIFAT’s campus May 12-25. Sarah Murphree, SIFAT co-founder Sarah Corson’s great-niece, participated this year. She has been blogging about her experience and giving readers a glimpse of what types of appropriate technologies and community development topics are being presented, as well as a look into who some of the participants are.  A 2012 graduate of the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Sarah recently directed and produced two short films, one taking first place in the 2013 Nashville Film Festival. She is currently working on her third film, a documentary about Camp Koinonia.

One of the subjects covered during the Field Study was the need for clean water. Alabama Water Watch, a water quality monitoring program covering all major river basins of the state, came to educate us about water quality. We watched informative videos and learned about the need for clean water globally. We then had the chance to test the water here at SIFAT.

Clean water was one of the main topics covered during the Field Study.

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