World Dignity, Inc. (WDI) has joined hands with the Auroville Village Action Group (AVAG) (South India) in support of villagers’ efforts to improve their community and their lives.
AVAG / WDI Educational Revolving Fund
In 2009 AVAG and WDI created the AVAG / WDI Education Revolving Fund to provide loans and grants for financially poor students to attend university in India. Currently, WDI is assisting 18 women and one man with loans and grants. Ten students have graduated. WDI plans to assist eight additional women students during the next few years.
The Women’s Community Building
WDI’s decision to create the Education Revolving Fund arose from earlier cooperative efforts with the Village Action Group. Assistance was provided to build a Women’s Community Center to for village women to address community issues. Education was identified as a priority which led to the establishment of the Fund. Other projects had been supported earlier, such as a recycling project run by young people and a project to provide clean water and drainage for a school building.
Voice from a mother whose family benefited from a Dignity Scholarship / Grant
“I am a member of Udhayam Bharathathai Women’s self-help group in Nesal village. I have 3 daughters. I am a widow and an agricultural laborer. Nithya is my first daughter. While she was doing her Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science I had great difficulty to pay her fees. Then I came to know about the UDAG / WDI Education Revolving Fund which gave me and my daughter assistance with her fees.
As soon as she successfully completed her course she got a job which served as a big support to our family to educate other children. Now she is married and along with her husband she is running a medical shop.”
The Auroville Village Action Group (AVAG) helps poor villages organize women’s clubs, men’s clubs, youth clubs, Parent / Teacher Associations. Sometimes these groups meet in village “councils.”
WDI has contributed to the Micro-project Fund used to help villagers provide clean water and drainage and repair school buildings. Villagers must come up with one / third of the cost of projects in cash, in-kind, and labor.
In 2006, WDI supported a project which involved helping young people of Morattandi Village to organize a recycling project. This has become necessary because many products used in villages today are not decomposable as was the case traditionally. This program teaches conservation, enhances the community, and increases the self-confidence and dignity of young people.
In 2007, WDI joined with other groups in supporting the construction of a women’s meeting place in two villages so they have a place to meet for educational workshops about village social and economic issues.
In 2009 WDI and the Auroville Action Group established the AVAG / WDI Education Revolving Fund to provide loans and grants to financially poor students to attend university in India. Four students are currently supported with a combination of grants and loans.
Download Noel Parent’s June 2007 report on his visit to the villages of Kaluperumpakkam and Odur (PDF).