About SDIA 

Susila Dharma International Association (SDIA) is a network of SD national organizations and associate member projects from 25 countries. We believe that by working together in an atmosphere of mutual respect we can achieve positive social, environmental and economic change that benefits our world. In 2020, SDIA was ranked 261 out of the top 500 global NGOs by NGO Advisor.

You can read our 2020 Annual Report here in English, French and Spanish:

Susila Dharma National organisations

SD Australia

SD Britain

SD Canada

SD Colombia

SD Congo

SD Ecuador

SD France

SD Germany

SD Indonesia

SD Israel

SD Japan

SD Mexico

SD Netherlands

SD New Zealand

SD Norway

SD Portugal

SD Spain

SD Sweden

SD USA

SD Vietnam

Our Mission And Vision

SDIA works globally for just and sustainable development through:

  1. Empowering individuals and communities to engage in positive human, social, environmental and economic change.
  2. Creating partnerships to achieve grassroots, participatory initiatives.

How We Work

Our members initiate local, culturally appropriate projects in four main areas: healthcare, education, sustainable livelihoods and protection of the environment.

SDIA works to build the capacity of our members to develop and sustain their organizations and demonstrate results. We provide:

  • training, technical support and help mobilise international expertise and volunteers resources;
  • build connections with and between donors and provide support services in grant-writing and fundraising;
  • provide communication and information-sharing services to our members.

SDIA promotes awareness of key global issues such as gender equality, child rights, environmental sustainability and innovative and effective development practices.

To improve the ability of our members to implement projects, we mentor and engage local trainers to assist with needs assessments, fundraising and project management, monitoring and evaluation.  We facilitate specific training events on good practices in the fields of health, education, community development and environmentally sustainable practices.

In recent years with assistance of SDIA and other partners, Susila Dharma Congo has become an NGO leader in the Democratic Republic of Congo.  SD Congo now constructs community-led health centres negotiated with the communities they serve and various levels of governments. SD Congo is the international liaison for Congolese projects under its umbrella and administers all foreign funds for project support.

SDIA supported Yayasan Tambuhak Sinta to evaluate their work and deliver a local conference for all stakeholders on governance in Kalimantan, Indonesia. With the support our funding partners, in 2014 SDIA launched a programme to identify strategies to improve quality education and care of children with projects in Indonesia, Paraguay, Colombia, DR Congo and Portugal.

Some of our project members provide training to fellow SDIA members and others –

  • The International Child Development Programme trains child care givers in the psychosocial development of children.
  • A Child’s Garden of Peace helps schools and other institutions to establish community gardens.
  • I Protect Me trains children and adults on violence prevention and self-protection strategies.

Global Presence

SDIA builds its global presence through its affiliation with the World Subud Association and its consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) and the U.N. Children’s Fund (UNICEF). SDIA is also affiliated with the UN Department of Public Information, NGO Section. 

Started in 1968, SDIA now operates from Canada and supports 21 national Susila Dharma organizations and 26 associate member projects. SDIA was registered as a non-profit organization in the State of Virginia, USA in 1994 with the charitable tax number 98-0156249.

Every year SDIA organizes an international networking conference in a different part of the world. During the conference our members and others who are interested in development work share experiences, expertise and best practices about issues that concern them. Through its links with United Nations agencies and other organisations, SDIA brings knowledge and information on worldwide development trends, ideas and news to our projects.

Read more about our networking activities.

What is Subud?

SDIA is an affiliate of the World Subud Association. Subud is an international, spiritual association of people who share a unique experience known as the ‘latihan’ or exercise. We are an association of men and women of all nationalities, all beliefs and faiths, and all cultures, with a common aim: to improve ourselves as human beings through our worship of God. Subud is not a religion and requires no study or teacher. 

Guiding Principles and Code of Conduct

SDIA and its members share a common vision of development that goes from the deeply personal to the community, to the institutional and global levels. SDIA and its members have adopted a network wide Code of Conduct.

i. Vision of Development

We, the SD Network, give priority to the needs, aspirations and participation of the individuals and communities on whose behalf we are working. We recognize the importance of fundamental human rights, environmental sustainability and accountability to those we serve. We work to advance the UN Sustainable Development Goals and to combat discrimination in all its forms, including on the basis of race, gender, caste, ethnicity and sexual orientation. We understand development as a positive process of human, social, cultural, environmental, economic and political transformation.

ii. Community Participation and Knowledge Sharing

We are committed to participatory and inclusive approaches to development.

As a network we freely share our information and knowledge, continuously learning from each other we base our decisions on mutual understanding and respect. We aim to learn from our mistakes and value our success, no matter how small. We are committed to monitoring and evaluating our activities in order to continually improve our development practices.

iii. Partnership

Partnerships form the basis for trust and sound development practice. Our partnerships respect one another’s autonomy and constraints and are built on honesty, accountability and transparency. All partners strive for better understanding and appreciation of one another. We reach out to and work in collaboration with institutions that share our aims and objectives.

iv. Transparent and Accountable Management and Reporting

We are committed to transparent and accountable reporting, both between members of the network, and towards beneficiaries, donors and the general public. We seek to identify the appropriate scale and terms of financial support on a case by case basis.

v. Personal Responsibility

In addition to being well-informed and learning from others, we strive to trust our own perceptions and follow our inner feelings as development practitioners. Each human being is responsible for being part of the change processes we envisage for the world. 

Leadership Team – SDIA Board

Evan Padilla – Chairman – USA
Evan Padilla was born and raised in the Detroit, Michigan area. In 1976 he moved to the Pacific coast. He lived in both northern and southern California for 12 years. In 1988 he moved to Seattle, Washington area where he continues to live.

He holds Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics and Physics, a Masters Degree in Math Education and a Masters degree in Business Administration. Evan spent the early part of his career in education teaching secondary math and science. Since graduating from business school, he has owned and operated small businesses dealing in electronics and real estate.

Evan was Chair of Susila Dharma USA for five years. He has been a member of the Susila Dharma International Association board for over 6 years. He was Treasurer of SDIA for 4 years and is currently the Chair of SDIA.

Viktor Boehm – Treasurer – Germany
Viktor Boehm was born 1944 in Vienna, grew up in Wolfsburg and studied engineering and physics in Hamburg. He is married and has four children. In 1978 his family moved to Munich where he worked for 2 years in the Max-Planck-Institute for Laser-research and then at the German-French helicopter company Eurocopter, now called Airbus Helicopters, until 2006. Parallel to this work he established the company Kalteng Consultants in 1995, which works mainly in the area of remote sensing in Kalimantan. Viktor served from 2001 – 2005 as International Helper for the area 2.

Viktor has been part of the Susila Dharma Germany team since 2007. He was chair of SDG from 2013 to 2015 and is the current chair. Additionally, he is SDIA treasurer and is working with the SD DR Congo team on the BMZ funded health clinic project in Kwilu Ngongo, which was initiated in 2015.

Aminah Herrman – USA
Aminah Herrman studied Early Childhood Development and Art at Humboldt State University and College of The Redwoods in Humboldt County, California. She was a founding member of a private school called Centering School that focused on utilizing the arts as a tool for learning traditional subjects.

Aminah set up an art business with her husband that created decor for national restaurant chains. She also managed a gallery that had its emphasis on spirituality and held seminars on creativity.

Ashwin Rajaraman – India
Ashwin is an IT professional with postgraduate diplomas in Marketing Management and Computer Software & Applications, as well as a graduate degree in Physics. He has worked in different domains in several countries around the world, giving him a rich and varied experience of living and working within other cultures. He brings to SDIA his experience and skills in organizing, networking, team building, fundraising, CSR activities and communication.

A strong believer in teamwork, he has created multiple successful teams over his career and held a number of top management positions. Currently Ashwin is a Consultant and Advisor to a couple of mid-tier IT Organisations in his native hometown of Chennai, India, to which he returned last year after many years abroad.

Ashwin has anchored his organisation’s Corporate Social Responsibility activities in every region and country he has worked in. He has created and sustained CSR projects to serve marginalised, under-privileged and economically weaker sections of society. He also has several years of experience in working with underprivileged children in Social Enterprises in his native India, including teaching them critical thinking skills. Ashwin is married and has an adult son.

Danica Robertson de Wild – Ecuador
Danica moved to Ecuador in 1997 and lives in the Tumbaco Valley, near Quito with her husband and three children. Originally from Scotland, she worked in Wales as an Outdoor Pursuits Instructor for Personal and Management Development courses, furthering her interest with a B.A (Hons.) degree in Recreation Management and then a post-graduate certificate in Primary Education.

Her developing interest in ‘alternative’ education took her to Ecuador where she later accompanied her three children in a Pestalozzi Foundation ‘Centre for Autonomous Activities’ for 11 years and helped to create further alternative learning initiatives with non-directive adult accompaniment and prepared learning environments.

Danica is the vice-president of Logichem Solutions which designs and produces healthy water, and non-toxic biodegradable cleaning and disinfectant products. She has been the representative of SD Ecuador since November 2018, supporting affiliated Susila Dharma members and other social projects.

Isidro Jimenez – Indonesia
Isidro was born in Armenia – Colombia, in 1998. After graduating from l’Alliance Française with a diploma in French language studies, Isidro moved to Ecuador, where he joined RET, an international organization dedicated to helping people in need. As a volunteer, he formed a youth group that carried out activities aimed at helping immigrants and minorities to adapt and develop livelihood skills for a better quality of life. He was then appointed RET’s Youth Ambassador for Ecuador, which allowed him to participate in several training courses, including the first youth ambassador training in Mardin, Turkey. Later, he applied for a government program to teach foreign languages to low-income children. After finishing the program, he became a volunteer with BFIF (Kalimantan, Indonesia), where he has been working for the past year and a half as a Fundraiser and Media Coordinator.

Monica Bennett Clarke – United Kingdom
Monica was born into Apartheid in South Africa (SA), where for 25 years she was an activist for the liberation movement (ANC). Leaving SA as a refugee, she was granted political asylum in the UK in the early 1980s.

Professionally she started out as a nurse and midwife; then qualified as a lawyer and practised criminal law (mostly political trials) in South Africa for several years. After settling in London, she worked as commercial lawyer. After a period of caring for her husband, she took up a position as an Associate Director in the National Health Service (NHS), UK, specialising in engagement and inclusion.

In 2013 she founded I Protect Me, an organisation which empowers women and children in South Africa to speak out and stand up against abuse. Monica also blogs regularly about human rights issues as a journalist with World Pulse, an international online resource for women. She speaks English, Afrikaans and French. Monica has won several awards, including Somerset Hospital Midwife of the Year (1963), A Woman of Action (2003) and 2020 Fellow of the Gratitude Network (Forbes).

Vincent Mount – United Kingdom
Vincent is a practising landscape architect with over 20 years in the field, working in the UK, USA, and Colombia. He has design and project management skills that have enabled him to carry out and deliver projects from inception all the way to implementation, including many community and public realm improvements. He’s traveled widely and is happily married with four children. He’s a keen musician and song-writer and has volunteered and managed volunteers through his work. His interest in Susila Dharma is in engaging young people and becoming more active together to raise the profile of humanitarian projects around the world. He is keen to encourage people in their creative and courageous efforts. Vincent is the chair of Susila Dharma Britain.

Nahum Harlap – WSA Chairman – Australia
Nahum was born in Israel, lived in London for 16 years, and moved to Perth, Australia in 2001. He holds academic degrees in Philosophy (B.A), Mathematics (B. Sc.) Psychotherapy and Counselling (M.A) and a diploma in Chinese Medicine. For the last 15 years, he has concentrated on investments in financial markets and real estate.

 

SDIA Office

Virginia Hamida Thomas – Executive Director – Canada

Virginia was appointed Executive Director of SDIA in January 2007. She is a Ph.D. candidate in Sociology at McGill University and has more than 20 years of experience as a senior researcher and programme evaluator. She has worked for numerous international organizations including UNICEF, UNHCR, UNOCHA on issues of child protection and gender equality in development and humanitarian settings. Her joy and commitment are to helping people, through developing their organizations, to bring their skills and abilities to influencing public policy and governance and improving lives and sustainable livelihoods.

Isabel Ana Maria Alvarez – Bookkeeping and Administration – Canada

Isabel’s working experience is focused on the administrative and accounting areas with more than 15 years’ experience. She is now working part-time as an Accounting and Financial Clerk at McGill University in Montréal Canada. Isabel has also worked with the committees of the two Subud groups where she has been a member – Pereira in Colombia and Montréal in Canada.

Solen Lees – Communications & Network Coordinator – United Kingdom

Solen has a background in linguistic work and gained a postgraduate degree in international development after having lived and worked in Latin America and Africa for several years. Solen has worked with humanitarian and environmental associations and was on the board of Susila Dharma France Entraide from 2001-2009. She joined SDIA in 2008.

Ethan S. Harris – Webmaster and Communications & Network Staff – USA.

Ethan has a Masters Degree in Business Administration from Hult International Business School (San Francisco, CA.), a BA in International Relations from Hult International Business School (London U.K.), a certification in Organizational Analysis from Stanford University, has worked for several technology companies, and as a community organizer for some of the largest nonprofit organizations in the United States.

In the past, he has served Susila Dharma as a national chair (2006), SDIA representative at United Nations events (2014), and as SDIA board member (2019).

SDIA Address: 572 Empire Street, Greenfield Park, Qc Canada J4V1W2.