Capacity Building

Background
AVAG’s Capacity Building Program has been one of the main reasons for the success of this organisation in ensuring people’s participation in the projects and it  aims to nurture each individual’s capacity for self-empowerment and social change through integral education. The need for skill development to build a better future for all with the realisation that social empowerment cannot be achieved through charity or service, but via co-development of communities
A set of initiatives aimed to expand social awareness and develop the skills needed for individuals to work collectively in society and to enhance local leadership in the communities, by training the local elected leaders.
  • To create an informed communities 
  • To  enable the participants to access different social, economic and community development schemes for the benefit of the community .
  • To inculcate leadership and problem solving skills..
  • To bridge the communities with Auroville, different departments of the government and other orgainisations.
  • To bring changes in the attitude at the individual and collective level and create out of the box thinking.
  • To train leaders from various CBOs in managing and leading programs
  • To be conscious of the changing trends in the field of development and their responses to them.
  • To  improve the relationship with between Auroville and the bioregion

Depending on the nature, experience and needs of the participants trainings are offered on various topics like:

  • Women’s rights, children’s rights, child sexual abuse, women’s safety, menstrual hygiene management.
  • Social analysis and changing social trends –  with special focus on gender and caste senstisation and  integration and solidarity of communities and groups and challenging the myths and taboos.
  • Financial inclusion and financial literacy and enterprise training and management.
  • Environmental issues – solid waste management, home garden, water management, organic farming and exposure and accessibility to alternative methods and products.
  • Wellbeing – health, alternative medicine, healing, counselling, deaddiction.
  • Communication, team building and conflict resolution.
  • Spoken English, computer training etc.
  • Offered in partnership with experts and activists of the relevant fields in Auroville, government departments, NGOs and financial institutions and in the community.
  • Organised  in the form of meetings, trainings, workshops, seminars and trips and  exposure trips.
  • Training leaders from women federation in managing and leading programs.

Capacity Building Activities

We focus on training to enhance the capabilities of the federation so that its leaders can take on more responsibilities in managing the programs for women. In addition, We provide trainings and workshops to to our staff, to keep abreast with the changing trends in the field of development.
Last year, we conducted 4 trainings for 12 staff members in Waste management, Industrial waste management, Recycling and disposal of waste and Monitoring of waste materials.

This year, 8 meetings were held with a total of 720 participants. They versed on various topics like problem solving, issues in the clubs, and community development activities.
Workshops Workshops are conducted for special topics like gender sensitization, social analysis, leadership, health and hygiene and implementation of government schemes.

  • Self Help Groups  of AVAG and other NGOs – leaders and members of the groups attend different trainings, seminars, workshops and exposure trips.
  • Leaders of the Udhayam Women’s Federation.
  • Students in schools and colleges in our working area.
  • School teachers and  elected leaders of the panchayats and councils.
  • Staff of AVAG and members of ABSCA,PAALAM and other NGOs.
  • Students and interns from different universities on rural realities and sharing AVAG’s experience in holistic rural development.
  • Members of Auroville community to know and experience the rural reality and build bridges with the neighbors.

Exposure Trips

Exposure trips are designed keeping in mind the needs of the groups. AVAG organises the following exposure trips:

  • Experience rural Tamil Nadu visits: one-day exposure visits to different neighbouring villages for Aurovillians as well as people hailing from urban cities,  to learn about the rural complexities and to promote social and cultural exchange between Auroville and the Bioregion.
  • Experience Auroville – these trips are aimed at giving exposure to people from the Bioregion to different units of Auroville  and to encourage a more conscious living.
Seminars
AVAG conducts multiple seminars almost once a month that are typically designed on a need-based approach to bring awareness on issues that are relevant to the target group

For the success of government schemes which are aimed at improving rural life in India, it is imperative for the rural population to be well-versed with these schemes. We use our wide network to spread awareness on the welfare schemes for women, children, aged and physically challenged and the developmental projects communities as a whole.

Seminars on health include the indigenous as well as topics of modern medicine. Group members are educated about the value of traditional, local food and medicinal herbs in maintaining health as well as the knowledge of yoga. On the other hand, modern medical epidemics like diabetes are also discussed. Special attention is given to women’s health issues and menstrual hygiene management which is traditionally considered a taboo to discuss openly. Information on alcohol de-addiction services is made available.

Village Development: Seminars on different ideas for village work camps and micro projects are conducted.

Environment: Sensitivity to environmental degradation and eco-sensitive practices is a recurring theme in AVAG seminars. Group members are educated about water and waste management. They are also taught how to grow their own food in kitchen gardens to bring food security while establishing a deeper connection with nature.

Gender: Questioning the patriarchal system and eradicating gender-based discriminations is one of the goals of AVAG. Group members are educated about the social responsibility to stop violence against women.

Gender and caste sensitisationr: Helping  them analyse the patriarchal and socially unjust system, myths and taboos to keep them alive, their relevance and the issues  to bring change in their attitude and to empathise, support and to be fair with each other.

Meeting regularly helps groups to foster a sense of community. The members get to know each other personally and form deep bonds that are more resilient than financial ties can be.

SHG Level Meetings

These are conducted fortnightly and all members of the group are required to attend. During these meetings, the group discusses their internal loan affairs and audits. Regular meetings help to maintain transparency. Members also share personal issues if they are facing any and seek support from fellow members.

Federation General Body Meetings

These meetings are attended by one member from each club in federation. In them, several discussions are conducted by AVAG development workers regarding prevalent social issues and an effort is made to bring a positive shift in the mentality of the women. They are encouraged to debate and problem solve, therefore improving their critical observations of the way society functions and the future of their community.

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