YouthLink celebrated International Youth Day (IYD) in Auroville this year 2018 through two events - a workshop and a community gathering. IYD is YouthLink's annual event, held since 2015 at venues such as Bharat Nivas, Unity Pavilion, Mahalakshni Park, and this year at the Town Hall, in Auroville.
Each year International Youth Day in Auroville explores the UN Youth chosen theme through an Auroville value perspective. The theme for 2018 was "Safe Spaces for Youth", which was explored through the values of "Sincerity and Solidarity" in Auroville.
11th August 2018, 8:00am-18:00pm: Workshop on Community Building
YouthLink conducted its first 1 day workshop on the theme of Community Building. YouthLink works closely with the Global Ecovillage Network and conducts longer courses on the theme of community living through the Auroville perspective. The one day workshop acted as a 'taster' into the education and work of YouthLink. By providing a platform for youth-led curriculum design, inviting older mentor facilitation, and allowing for young adults to discover their "offering" , YouthLink works towards the actual empowerment of the next generation.
This course explored community building through the simple framework of heart, head and hands. Starting the day with an introspective space to allow each individual to look inside and then feel connected to the larger circle. It was then followed by space for theory on community building and a discussion 'Circle of Hope's where every participant could share thier own inspiration in life for change. The afternoon was filled with time for the hands and body to explore team building through group games, understanding the basics of Ayurveda, forestry and farming and ending with making seed balls.
The workshop was held at the Tanto Far Beach Resort in Auroville, a beautiful venue near the ocean which allowed us to play, swim and connect to one another with a sense of rejuvenation.
On Sunday the 12th August we invited all our elders and youth to co-create a community gathering in the spirit of exploring Sincerity and Solidarity. It was a wonderful occasion where many came to share their educational work through information stalls, and where YouthLink shared information about it's work. The stage was open for performances including rap-poetry, drumming, collective circle dancing, contact improv, fire dance and the lighting of sky lanterns. The event also included discussion on some of the 'hot topics' concerning our community today, such as the need to purchase more land, and the threat of a highway that might be imposed nearby.
Overall the event included a light hearted spirit bringing together many generations and many different circles in and around Auroville... Sharing a delicious variety of food in laughter and celebration.
Thanking all those who offered time and energy towards these events as participants and organizers ! It was a moment we felt solidarity in a sincere effort towards working towards something higher, together.