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Mohanam Quarterly Newsletter Volume 2: Issue: II

Kindergarten activities:

Open House, Annual day and summer camp::

Painting Class: We are very lucky that Helgard, a German Aurovillian, is doing a painting class with our LKG (lower kindergarten) children. She is coming every Tuesday for two hours to work with them. The children are learning lots and you can see how much fun they are having expressing themselves and being creative.

Dear Friends, Summer heat is already on its way. It is time for the kindergarten children to have a break. Before closing kindergarten for this summer, our kindergarten children along with the teachers are now in the preparation of Open house and Annual day celebration on 27th of this month. We invite you all to come and enjoy this open house and the Annual day celebration with your friends and families. Do not miss the chance to see the little masters’ show.

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Since the class started, they greatly improved their knowledge of the colours and shapes, as well as their skills in holding the brush, using hands or sponges to spread colours and not spilling the paints. By now, they all even love to prepare the space and the clean-up afterwards they are doing all by themselves. I think the pictures show quite well how many big talents they all are.


Mohanam Quarterly Newsletter Volume 2: Issue:II

Annual Day Preparation: On the 27th of April, the Mohanam Kindergarten will open its doors for the annual day celebration. All the parents will be invited to see a big show. The children will perform a small drama and choreographies to popular Tamil songs. They will sing, tell stories and recite the rhymes they learned throughout the last school year, and for the smallest children there will be a fashion show where they can dress up as their favorite heroes. There have been many preparations going on and we are very busy in making beautiful crafts.

On the pictures you can see the children practicing the dance. For the flower vase we cut colourful string in small pieces and stuck them on a chart. The other pictures are made from small pieces of coloured paper. Everybody is starting to get very excited because there are only a few weeks left.

Kindergarten Registration We are just in the long and complex process of getting a government registration for our kindergarten. This will give us the opportunity to not only offer pre-KG (pre-kindergarten/ Crèche) and LKG (lower kindergarten) but also UKG (upper kindergarten), which is the next grade up. Working with the children for three years in a row instead of two will give us more possibilities to apply more modern teaching methods. At the same time we will be freer in our curriculum. We will have more time to prepare them for the standards of the government schools they will attend from first grade on. However, until we can get the registration it will still be another six months or so. We will already start to teach UKG next June (starting the new school year) but there are many requirements from the government that we do not fulfil yet and therefore still have to work on. One example is the installation of toilets for girls and boys. We received a very generous donation from an active youth group in Germany which we used to buy the houses for the toilet. On the pictures you can see the loading of the truck.

(Continues in the next page)


Mohanam Quarterly Newsletter Volume 2: Issue:II

Lively One Village Maybe you remember our little write-up about our cooperation with the handicraft units in the village from the last newsletter. This is a project to where we hope to support the community with training and more exposure for their products and a rural Tourism initiative. At the same time we generate an income for Mohanam Cultural Centre to make more self-sustainable. Here is a short summary of what we have done so far and

Contd/-

where we are right now

Still there is so much more: desks and benches for the children to write on are one requirement; we have to fix the walls in some rooms and buy extinguishers. All of this is very costly and we are desperately asking for help. If you were interested in supporting us and this project in this particular manner please contact us. We would be very thankful.

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Our first steps were to interview the 25 units in the area and to find out about their situation and needs. At the same time, awareness for the project was raised in the meetings with the artisans. We set up a small showroom in Mohanam displaying village products, where we could already generate sales during the tourist season. This helped to gain trust in the project not only from the artisans. Throughout all that time, we were in contact with the Pondicherry Tourism Department who promised us support in this tourism initiative. (continues in the next page)


Mohanam Quarterly Newsletter Volume 2: Issue: II

Contd/In the end of December, Safi a volunteer from Sweden, was with us for two weeks helping us greatly by designing a village map. It will make the craft units more easily accessible for visitors and is now almost ready to be launched. We have also been very happy to have Alessandro here, who is working with us for five months. He did a fantastic job at designing a logo and posters for this project. Recently we have been looking for sponsors to support us with the printing costs. Generally things are moving very fast now and it is nice to see the project evolving. The next steps will be signage for the units, as well as the creation of a catalogue to simplify the process of making orders for our customers. It is very nice to see the community starting to see the benefits and the progress of this collaboration.

Group Visit and events: Chinese group visit:

On 22nd of February, a group of 30 people from China visited our Mohanam Cultural Centre. After a short discussion and sharing on our activities they were taken for a walk through the village. Marc villa: On 28th Thursday, February a group of 70 people from France along with Marc villa, they gave performance in middle of the village. We hosted the group and helped them to organize the performance. The main concept of the performance is to give the love through music.


Mohanam Quarterly Newsletter Volume 2: Issue: II

Summer camp: Nia Group Visit: Summer camp: Every year, since 2002 Mohanam Cultural Centre offers a week long Summer Art Camp. Around 150-250 children participate each year. This one week intensive workshop gives a showcase of different activities offered at Mohanam. The kids have an opportunity to try many different activities and discover their artistic talents.

On 5th Tuesday March, Nia group visited our Mohanam Cultural Centre. We have explained them our ongoing activities at our centre and then we have arranged a village walk. In this walk we have taken them to various local craft units and also explained them about the village community structure.

Construction & Furniture Workshop: Auroville Bamboo Centre had conducted training program on bamboo construction and furniture making from 11th to 14th and 20th to 22nd March. There were 10 architect students and 13 people from different place of India and abroad. In the training program the trainees had designed a house structure.

The camp always includes an environmental component, offering the children knowledge about the different problems affecting their area. Activities include games, videos, songs, village trash cleanup, and various art projects using recycled materials. Each year we also take a trip to a different culturally significant location. We feel that these experiences help the children connect to their culture and broaden their perspectives of the world. This year we would provide a 5 day workshop for the children and youth in the Kottakari village. Kottakari village is one of the villages that are in the vicinity of Auroville that has most backward class people. This workshop provides a wide chance for the children and youth to have an experience of Auroville, on The Mother and Sri Aurobindo teachings and an integrated workshop on skill development. To enable us to provide this workshop we request you all to give us your kind donations and wishes. Budget detail is given in the next page for your convenience to provide donation on your choice.


Mohanam Quarterly Newsletter Volume 2: Issue:II BUDGET DETAIL: Material Cost: In Indian Rupees:

51800

In this journey ~

In Euro: 835.48 In American Dollar: 1036 Transport: In Indian Rupees:

10500

In Euro: 169.35 In American Dollar: 210: Honorarium for the Masters In Indian Rupees:

24000

In Euro: 387.096 In American Dollar: 480 Total cost: In Indian Rupees: 86300 In Euro: 1391.926 In American dollars: 1726

Mode of Payment: SWIFT CODE: S B I N I N B B 4 7 4 Account with State Bank of India, Auroville International Township Branch, Kuilapalayam,

We wish to take the opportunity to thank all the Friends of Mohanam over the last years. This especially includes; Louise (our major benefactor), the Lions Club of The Netherlands, AVI Germany & Volunteers, Living Routes, Aurelio, Bhawana, Susan, Dhanya, friends of Nie, Sabine, Philippe , Melissa Michael from Golden Bridge, Marti from Soul Motion, Karin, Sarah, Alena, Gerhard, Maria Grazia, Marzia Raspa, Cornelia Baldini, Mario Abata and His friends, Megan Keely, M. Diane Marks, Joanna Kelly, American University of Paris, University of Washington, Charla Gabert, Hanneyka, Milana, Raphaele, John, Yvonne Myles, Niabelly Dance, Jam Hafla, Krishan Myer, Jill Navarre, Meenaksh Akka, Raman, Dhanapal, Sankar, Thillai, Charles, Rathnam, Tlaloc, Sundar, Loordhu, Elaine, Giorgio, Joss and finally Yuval and Nick for their mentoring. There is special recognition of the "first generation" members of Mohanam who helped to establish the programs and who remain involved today. To the people of the local communities who have helped and supported us in so many ways - we hope it continues. Lastly, to anyone we have forgotten even more special thanks.

Auroville - 605 101 - India Branch Code : 03160 Name of the Account Holder: Auroville Unity Fund Account No: 1 0 2 3 7 8 7 8 131 Purpose: Mohanam Cultural Centre

With love and gratitude The Mohanam Team


Mohanam Quarterly Newsletter