Volunteering in Auroville
Located in Auroville’s International Zone, the Unity Pavilion complex hosts Savi - your “key” gateway to studying, volunteering, internships or research in Auroville. The Savi team is composed of Aurovilians and Newcomers who are there to assist interns, volunteers and researchers. Savi, registered under Auroville International Programs (AIP) of the Auroville Foundation, has been active for the last 12 years. Savi provides information and answers to enquiries, through emails, its reception desk and orientation programs. Through their extensive database of learning opportunities, they put people in touch with hosting Auroville Units. They will assist you in the administrative, financial, housing and logistics aspects of your endeavor and provide ongoing support through personal follow-up, interviews and events until you depart. If you are looking at spending time in Auroville and want to get involved, this is where you need to start!
All individuals interested to volunteer in Auroville for a period greater than two months are encouraged to send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org so that their arrival and stay may be well prepared and successful. There are legal formalities that do not apply to Indian citizens which foreign nationals must comply with. If you intend to come for a long-term voluntary service or internship which exceeds 180 days, you must apply for an Entry Visa which will be given only with a letter of recommendation signed by the Auroville Foundation. To streamline this process, Savi has created an Initial Inquiry Form which you can access online to begin the process.
If you are coming for less than two months, you will be guided to the Auroville Guest Service as they handle guiding guests towards short term opportunities. The Auroville Guest Service main office is located next to La Terrace, on top of the Solar Kitchen. They are open Monday to Saturday from 9:30-12:30 and weekday afternoons from 1-4pm. Services offered include advice, referrals and feedback on various aspects of staying in Auroville, a notice board of events, classes, workshops and cultural activities open to guests as well a range of information about Auroville. A prior e-mail to email@example.com is highly recommended to make the most of your stay.
There is a very wide range of activities to choose from in Savi’s database, here are a few ideas which you may find inspiring. If you are curious about Community and Social Change you may find that a creative environment such as Well Paper suits you. For those with digital social marketing skills, the Dental Centre could really use your expertise to help them formulate social media message, graphical representations and gather fund raising material. If your interest lies in Culture and Arts, you may find that collaborating with Svaram in its musical instrument research, product development and music education is your thing. If you are a native French speaker, Le Pavillon de France are in need o f assistance in transcribing and preparing future publications on topics ranging from culture to philosophy.
There are many opportunities to participate in Education and Research. Oli School and Isai Ambalam School are both in need of help with creating pedagogical material for children. If you have teaching experience, consider teaching English at Aikiyam and Udavi School or afterschool at the Kuilapalayam Cultural Centre. For those with professional background in Health, AquaDyn could use your data driven proficiency to work on implementing a pilot project to provide drinking water in the villages. If you are ready to get your hands dirty, take the time to help clean and maintain the medicinal herb garden at Martuvam Healing Forest.
Auroville has many organic farms that welcome a helping hand. Terrasoul, Solitude and Discipline Farm need your energy not only in the fields but also in food processing. AuroAnnam, Baraka and Aurogreen Farm could really benefit from some dedicated manpower. Openings in dairy-animal husbandry to social media support are needed at Annapurna Farm. For the technologically incline volunteer, consider giving AuroOrchard, our oldest farm, a hand in developing their new website.
As you can see, we are building a city and in this regard, all fields of work and creative ingenuity are being developed. If you do not find a volunteering activity that meets your professional skills, then please offer it! You can contact Sangili (a project under Savi) by sending an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org and share what it is you would like to offer! Sometimes it is just a question of networking a few individuals together to make your volunteering experience happen. Here is a simple example to show you how this magic works:
Parents of 2nd grade children in Auroville were looking for a soccer coach. They shared their call with the Auroville community online and Sangili got a hold of the request. That very day, Sivakumar at Sangili received a video made by two Swadharma Program alumni this video they made about Sangheetha, a 19 year old Homeless World Cup soccer champion who grew up on the streets of Chennai. Immediately, he forwarded the video to the parent who instantiated the conversation. Sangheetha was invited to Savi the same week where she was met by Auroville Sports Board member Frederick, some parents, a mentor and Dorothea Riecker, writer for Focus Magazine. What do you think happened? Well, let’s just say that starting Jan 6th, 2020 Auroville will have a professional football player coaching elementary students. Pooling our resources together and reaching out to help fund this amazing opportunity is showcasing how Human Unity is well and alive in Auroville!