AVI UK Annual Report 2016-17
- AVI UK has this past year been addressing the fact that we have a rather limited committee membership and that this is partly a problem of passing the torch on to our younger members, most of whom have busy lives juggling work and family, causing us difficulty in getting attendance of members. We are seeking to get a wider youth membership, but for many, they have their own approach that often tends to reject meetings. We have had Open meetings at the Auromira Centre in London and at Buckden Towers near St. Neots in a more central part of England. Our aim is to build an active Auroville community in the UK. Events consisted of various activities that allow us to get to know each other on a social level as well as a spiritual one. The activities included meditation, readings and presentations as well as outings to explore the local sites. In trying to promote the growth and change of AVI UK we have also explored linking up with other organizations related to Mother and Sri Aurobindo as in the ‘Sourcing Our Oneness’ initiative.
- One AVI UK initiative that has been well attended is the Savitri Circle, which has monthly meetings in London. It is led by Sonia Dyne, and is giving those attending a deep and joyful journey of consciousness.
- We are involved in the preparation and program for the 50th anniversary celebrations. We have proposed outreach presentations and meetings about Auroville at the School of Oriental and Asian Studies (SOAS) in London, at Oxford and Cambridge universities and at Findhorn. We are also exploring radio and television exposure of Auroville on its 50th anniversary via the BBC although given the very negative nature of a previous TV programme, it is something that we approach with extreme caution.
- We have discussed our contribution to the International Zone and European hub as well as what could be manifested in the near future as a UK National pavilion. Brexit has not diminished our vision.
- We have been deeply involved with developing the concept of The International University of Integral Yoga (or whatever name emerges) and what will be built in IZ and the European part of IZ. We have been involved with European AVI meetings and initiatives. Martin Littlewood, our co-opted member who now resides in Auroville, will be representing AVI UK in the annual AVI meetings this year in Auroville. We have tried from UK to contribute to the process by exchanges of ideas in the run-up to the annual gathering.
- We are considering major changes to our Newsletter and website. The truth is that we no longer know whether those who were sent the Newsletter actually received it and still want it. We are trying to get readership feedback on this. After publication of the current Newsletter we may in future only print a limited number of paper copies and these would be sent to a list of ‘institutions’ (e.g. Findhorn, SOAS, etc.) and older, non-computer literate members. We would try to promote the AVI UK website as the medium for Auroville news items, making them much more relevant and up-to-date. The committee has discouraged personal opinion pieces so the material is likely in future to be strictly news items.
- We have been preparing and organising the AVI Europe meeting in UK in 2017 which will be held at The Claret Centre, Buckden Towers, St. Neots. It is a fascinating and beautiful venue, rich in history.
- Contact Database: Angiras has been involved with the big Auroville database project although this proceeds slowly.
- Financial Report : AVI UK donations in 2016-17: Auroville Land, Matrimandir, Aikiyam School, Martin’s Boarding, Roy’s Boarding, Botanical Gardens project, Reach for the Stars, Thamarai and a large contribution has been made through AVI UK for the Findhorn House at Pitchandiculam.