Shanti Volunteer Association
Operating mainly in Cambodia, Thailand, Laos, and Afghanistan, the Shanti Volunteer Association (SVA) conducts education, culture, and disaster relief programs that respect traditional cultural practices. Specific projects include constructing schools and libraries in Southeast Asia, as well as running programs dedicated to preserving Buddhist cultural practices through literature donation, seminars for Buddhist religious leaders, and building reconstruction. Since 2005 SVA has provided services to children living in the slums surrounding Phnom Penh and Bangkok and in refugee camps along the Myanmar border. SVA forerunner the Japan Sotoshu Relief Committee formed in 1979 in response to the huge outflow of refugees from Indochina; it moved into Cambodia in 1991 and has continually expanded throughout the region. The name of the organization changed to Shanti Volunteer Association in 1999.