Thank you for celebrating a successful International Youth Day with us no the 12th & 13th August 2016! As our service is now more than 1 year old, we felt it was important to highlight our current projects and the work we have done so far. This year we celebrated the UN's Goal related to Sustainable Production & Consumption.
There are too many people to thank for this event… to mention only a few… for the Gift Table, we want to thank Sankalpa, Upasana, WELLPaper, Solitude, Mason and Co, Mandala Pottery, WasteLESS, Naturellement, Auroville Papers, and all individuals for their generous gifts. We are also grateful to our honorary guests Mr. Mohan Verghese Chunkath, Mr. Srinivasmurthi, Aster Patel, Frederick, Joss, Working Committee members… and all our mentors, there are just too many to mention here.
A big congratulations to each Aurovilian, Newcomer, Volunteer and Bioregional Youth who participated. Your art stalls, presentations and workshops were amazing! A big thank you to Unity Pavilion for hosting us, and for holding our exhibition open for a couple weeks longer. If you missed the event, you can still see the youth’s art & projects display. Here below we would like to share an update regarding our work for all those curious about YouthLink’s progress over 1 year.
Vision: YouthLink places the Auroville Charter at the center of its vision, highlighting the aspiration that “Auroville will be the place of an unending education, of constant progress and a youth that never ages,” and that “Auroville wants to be the bridge between the past and the future. Taking advantage of all discoveries from without and from within, Auroville will boldly spring towards future realizations.”
Mission: As a service, YouthLink is aimed to help voice youth concerns, help address youth needs and help younger generations in getting involved in the building of Auroville. YouthLink also aims to be a bridge between Auroville, its bioregion, India and the world.
The three categories specifically related to youth that YouthLink aspires to provide information and develop initiatives for are: the housing crisis, a lack of structured higher education opportunities for Aurovilian youth, and a lack of employment opportunities and training for skill enhancement.
YouthLink has a Core Group of youth between the ages 18-35, but works with all age groups.
Depending on the initiative, YouthLink engages younger youth, and calls on older mentors. We are very grateful to BCC for a reoccuring budget that has recently been granted, and to Stichting de Zaaire for covering some of our maintenaces & stipends this year. We use the 12 qualities of the Mother’s symbol as inspiration in our meetings when needed.
YOUTH SPACES & HOUSING
The Hive: The HIVE project was envisioned in June 2015, by YouthLink’s core team who wrote a proposal for Auroville’s 50th Anniversary (2018) proposals call. The idea was to construct a space in the International Zone "for the youth, by the youth," to empower young architects, contractors and managers to design and build their own dream. The hope is to attract young Aurovilians, Bioregional Youth, Newcomers and Volunteers to come together to learn and design future projects. The proposed design currently includes a learning space/canteen/a networking information point/office space for start-ups, housing for visiting youth and caretaker facilities... of course, this has been broken down into phases. The entire building has been designed for multi-functionality with an emphasis on sustainable design. To picture it, imagine a hobbit house (but bigger), with green roofs for growing vegetables!
Apprenticeships & a Core Program: YouthLink is in deeply involved in encouraging the development of apprenticeships, internships and fellowships for youth in Auroville. YouthLink will:
Work to Develop a Core Program for Apprentices/Interns to come together for learning.
Serve as an Information Point, maintaining Opportunity Informative Platforms for Jobs/Experiences/Apprenticeships/Service options for Youth, providing close, regular contact to help youth discover their own learning aspirations and help by facilitating, scheduling and mentoring.
Global Ecovillage Network (GEN & NextGEN) NextGEN the youth branch of GEN has its base in YouthLink linking to Global Ecovillage Network for Exchange Programs, Short Courses and Conferences.
Ecovillage Design Education (EDE) YouthLink is helping develop a 5 week Gaia Education and UNESCO recognized course for December 2016 for youth in Auroville, its bioregion, India and the world hosted in Pitchandikulam Forest. The idea of the EDE is to use the curriculum’s framework for the youth to better understand our uniqueness, relevance and role as a community in this locality.
Youth Exchange: NextGEN is working to develop exchange programs for youth with an initial exchange to Ladakh beginning in Summer 2017. Others in development include opportunities within India, in Thailand, USA, Italy, South Korea, Scotland, Sri Lanka and Portugal.
Upcoming Educational Workshops
Exploring Youth & Economy: in collaboration with Economy Action Group and Integral Entrepreneurship Lab – organizing a 1 day Orientation to AV Economy on the 27th of August inviting 1) youth who have started/or want to start a unit, 2) inviting youth who want to help succession planning, or 3) invite any youth who simply want to know more… to better understand Auroville’s economical structures and how to work within it. Higher Education: A Gate and a Path: Omar is designing a 4 -Modules (4 Saturday afternoons) session for undergrad/postgrad youth in AV for the 3rd, 10th, 17th, 24th September 2016.
This workshop also invites Parents & Educators to attend. These sessions will help youth/or any Aurovilian who is interested in going outside Auroville for further study, with understanding themselves and their needs, the different opportunities according to different regions in the world, how to apply, how to prepare a good portfolio, how to apply for scholarships etc.
Exploring Security and Sports Training: in collaboration with Security Service, AVAG & Sports Research Center & Paalam Project: A YL member is linking to Security Service to explore designing a 'training' aspect which could eventually fall under apprenticeships and the same for sports coaching.
Sourcing Our Oneness – Nainital Retreat: Some YouthLink will be attending the Sourcing Our Oneness October 2016 Nanital trip this year with 120 AVI/Ashram/Auroville People. Youthlink is involved with the design of this program and will start to connect more with Ashram Youth.
YOUTH & BIOREGION
Bioregional Youth for Development: The Bioregion Action Group and YouthLink are both outcomes of the Auroville Retreat that has been working to create shifts in our community since early 2015. Together and with co-ordination help from the Village Action Group, we are in process of implementing a project called ‘Paalam’ meaning ‘Bridge.’ This is a bioregional and Auroville youth leadership program, primarily coordinated by AVAG.
Linking to Village Youth Groups: We are linking to various youth groups from the bioregional villages such as the Kamban Youth group in Edyanchavadi, Clean Kuila in Kuyilapalayam and other groups such as TYCL in and around Pondicherry seeking areas of collaboration and networking.
Information Support: YouthLink is supporting Content Writing & Design of panels of Auroville's Bioregional Activities to be displayed at Visitor's Centre.
DATA & DOCUMENTATION
We keep regular Visual & Written Documentation as a form of Process Documentation for future reference, in order to constantly innovate and to monitor progress. This is aimed to be a model for the rest of Auroville to ensure transparency in work.
Data Gathering & Processing: We are collecting data and creating a video documentary related to youth to establish a database for information related to the needs, movements and current situation of young people in Auroville.
Youth Networking Abroad: We are working through Auroville International Network (AVI) to create a database for youth of Auroville travelling, living and working outside India to create a stronger global youth network to bring Auroville to the world.
YouthLink organizes Youth Related Events such as International Youth Day, and workshops as requested by youth. We have so far organized workshops related to project writing, team building and leadership, learning about Auroville’s economy and governance and helped host the Global Zeitgeist day, GEN talks, and supported the Youth Center in organizing their annual Christmas event.
We are planning for a February 2018 youth event for Auroville’s 50th Anniversary relating to the vision of an unending education and a youth that never ages.