SLI: Sustainable Livelihood Institute

SLI is a joint venture of The Auroville Foundation and The Tamil Nadu Corporation for Development of Women aiming to provide stainable livelihood solutions to vulnerable sections of the population of both Auroville and surrounding areas. Through capacity-building programs, research and outreach solutions SLI works with marginalized communities to curate a more sustainable future for communities in and around Auroville. IMG_3208The building conveys this message of commitment to Tamil Nadu as it is completely adorned with artwork done by local children both inside and out, the welcoming facade is matched with a smiling staff made up of Indians from across India. Abel a program manager from Delhi guided the group through the building offering explanations about the artwork and crafts which cover the walls. IMG_0156He explained that SLI’s team is small made up of only six members each with a specific set of skills and tasks be it in the Research, service or commercial units of SLI. Across these units, the institute offers countless programs that focus on six main strategies for success: perspective building, skill-building, network building, social mobilization, social innovation, and knowledge creation. Through these strategies, the team produces programs to empower the disenfranchised from herbs for health, a program aimed at teaching farmers about local plants and their medicinal properties to sustainable tourism, a one-month intensive program aiming to help locals capitalize on India’s booming tourism market in a sustainable way. The Institute offers these programs not only to the disenfranchised but policymakers and business heads to affect the most change having given workshops at The World Bank, OCTMP (Orissa Community Tank Management project, The Ekam Foundation, and many others. SLI has trained over 3500 community leaders, more than 400 officials in the R&D Department and had its pedagogy adopted across schools in Tamil Nadu. SLI’s commitment to the population of Tamil Nadu extends beyond class, race, and gender rather they are a small group set out to make a big difference. 

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