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Auroville Village Action Group

Learning and Cultural Centre


Building a bridge to our neighbors...would you like to help?

June 2013

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Thamarai Learning and
Community Center

Last fest in Thamarai


Thamarai learning and community Centre in Edayanchavady has
been one of Auroville's attempts to create a space for meaningful
interaction between Auroville and our neighboring village since
2006. It began with the question, "how can 2 communities who
are so different (Auroville and Edayachavady) find common
ground on which to build a mutually beneficial and sustainable
relationship for the future?" What arose from that question is a
community centre located in a fully renovated traditional Tamil
house in the heart of the village that offers the following

1. a daily "playgroup" which caters to 26 children from the
village and provides a supportive learning environment
for preschool children while freeing up parents to work
or do other things

2. a drop in after school program where children of any
age attend each evening Monday to Friday for support
in homework as well as supplementary educational
activities including music, art and handicrafts

3. special programs that brings Auroville talent to the
village e.g. magic shows, puppet shows, concerts etc...
as Aurovilians who wish to contribute towards this
relationship building aim are welcome to share

4. a home for the reach for the stars activities - a program
which provides support to disadvantaged students by
enabling them to undertake further studies which they
would not otherwise be able to afford. Currently it is
supporting 16 Edayanchavadi students through full-time
third level education.

5. conversational English classes to women who wish to
improve their English (see below)
These programs are delivered by "teachers" and helpers from the
village and Aurovilians and long term volunteers who work
together in a spirit of co-operation and co-learning. Service is at
the heart of every offering.

We have come to the point though where the question of
whether we can continue has to be addressed

Thamarai, as a project under Auroville Village Action Trust, has
relied solely on donations since the beginning. We have been
graced with the funds we have needed through donations from
friends and well wishers since the beginning but for the first time
since we began, we have basically run out of funds. Our situation
is critical and we don't know what else to do other than sharing
this information with our community. We hope that someone
may feel called to respond.
We have even questioned whether this may be the time to close
the project! Then, just last week in our team meeting, 2 of the
young teachers (who are Udavi school graduates and were even
"students" at Thamarai when it began), enthusiastically shared
their wish to spread the message of Garbology to the women's
clubs in the village to create an initiative to motivate them to
take waste management as a collective priority and work out a
system for separating and composting. They feel a sense of
empowerment to act for their village and they are ready to give
time voluntarily to do what they can. So to see this light gives us
the sense that this project wants to live. And it does need money
to do so.
We opened a second educational project in Edayanchavadi in
2008, Thamarai health and healing centre. It is completely
financially viable. Thanks to a few regular donors who give a
reliable stability to the program.
Thamarai community centre needs Rs30,000 per month to pay
the rent, the teacher stipends and class materials. We welcome
any donations and monthly contributions no matter how small. If
you can help us financially, please contribute to account number
251633 or perhaps spread the word to others who could help.

Other ways to participate

While funds are our critical need right now, we welcome other
inputs such as creative offerings like music or arts, art supplies etc.

We would also like to extend 2 invitations

1. A fundraiser: Afternoon healing workshop –
Sunday Feb 3rd 2.30pm to 5pm at Pitanga,
with Dr Yvonne Murphy who will share
simple chiro/cranio/medical intuitive/healing techniques
suitable for individual and family health. Yvonne is a frequent
visitor to Auroville with over 25 years experience practicing as a
doctor of chiropractic. She has worked all over the world in
many areas of holistic health and well-being, she is specialized in
cranial, pediatrics, birth trauma release and animal treatment,
particularly equine. Yvonne is offering this workshop on a
donation basis. The funds raised will be handed on to Thamarai.

2. A class for women from Edayanchavady: Please encourage
your amma's who live in the village to join the conversational
English class which runs every Monday and Wednesday night from
6.30 - 7.30pm. The focus is on speaking and it is particularly
aimed at helping women who work in Auroville to feel more
confident and capable to communicate in their workplace.

Thank you for considering this request. If you would like to know
more or visit and see the work, please contact either
Bridget on9442270640 or Kathy on 9443135005


Go to:

Women explore themselves

Village tour in Auroville

Thamarai's garden

A day out

Earth Day

All photos by Giorgio

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