Who Are We? A small group of people passionate about human connection and committed to walking towards increased community resilience. We lead the larger Restorative Auroville project, we facilitate Circles, some of us teach, some of us run our different initiatives, and more... And we’re wanting to expand our team and our reach in the community.
Project Working Team
↪ run the larger project in all its aspects, from small to big…
L'aura Joy – Founder
I was born and raised in Auroville, and life has lead me to work with nonviolence, peace and justice. I went to university to become a high school teacher and proceeded to teach for 6 years (3 in Canada, 3 in Auroville). But I somehow didn’t find this work as fulfilling as I had expected, so I quit, not knowing what was coming next. In 2007, I serendipitously ended up in a Nonviolent Communication workshop, and this was the beginning of a new passion and career.
A little while later, a friend told me about Dominic Barter’s work and that “he was bringing Nonviolent Communication to prisons.” Although I had no formal connection to the world of crime and justice, I was immediately inspired and decided to attend a Restorative Circles training with Dominic in Atlanta, USA in October 2010. What I discovered was a whole new paradigm, and an absolutely transformative perspective into conflict and community.
Given my NVC background and having grown up and lived most of my life in community, engaging with Restorative Circles felt like a natural next step – immersing myself and applying these principles into a dynamic, living system. I couldn’t have found a more meaningful way to give back to Auroville.
↪ available to the community as Circle Facilitators…
The Facilitator is a dynamic role, selected according to individual availability and willingness, and so therefore can change from Circle to Circle.
As Facilitators, we are committed to serving the emergent wisdom of the Circle, offering questions sourced from the RC process. Our intention is to hold space for dialogue, to track meaning in what people say, and to write down any shared agreements.
Co-Facilitation: We encourage partnership and learning among Facilitators and usually suggest that more than one Facilitator be present for each Circle. This also allows for new Facilitators to be partnered with more experienced Facilitators, and for ongoing opportunities for collaboration and accountability.
↪ community members who are journeying with us and integrating the RC process and principles…
I grew up in Pondicherry and studied at the Sri Aurobindo International Center of Education. In this environment of an integral education, I graduated in Political Science and International Relations, studying Sri Aurobindo’s social and political thought. In 2015, after having studied Peace and Conflict with a focus on Jammu and Kashmir, I volunteered in the Indo-Pak border area, to better understand the ground realities of conflict. My time there gave me an understanding of the socio-political complexity of a conflict but also made me feel frustrated as I longed to contribute to conflict resolution and dialogue in the region.
In my search for meaningful engagements with conflicts I came to Auroville, hoping to learn new ways to manage conflicts at the ‘City of Dawn.’ When I attended a workshop in Restorative Circles I was intuitively drawn to its attitude towards conflict, as a natural phenomenon that needs understanding. I have been an apprentice at Restorative Auroville since October 2017, and have had the opportunity to assist live Circles and facilitate Pre-Circles and Semi-simulated Circles. I have been able to integrate the qualities of presence and hearing and reflecting meaning during difficult conversations. As a volunteer, I helped organize events like the Walk of Hope and Cross-cultural Dialogue and assist in raising awareness within the community. I’m convinced that the principles of restorative justice are the way forward to greater understanding and lasting harmony.
↪ community members who have contributed to our project, and to whom we are immensely grateful…
I was born and grew up in Montreal City, Quebec (the French-speaking part of Canada). After studying pure sciences at college I started to study and practice painting and engraving. In parallel I started to look inside myself, trying to understand who I was and what happiness was.
It has been a long journey that brought me in 2004 to Pondicherry where I stayed 6 years connected with Sri Aurobindo Ashram in order to get a deeper connection with Mother and Sri Aurobindo. In 2010 I moved to Auroville working in Matrimandir Access, facilitating "Play of painting" sessions with children and adults, and starting a new housing project in which I faced many conflicts.
In 2015 I took a Restorative Circles workshop and I was amazed by what was possible, how deep transformation could be if we were sincere and willing to enter into it. I joined the team, learned and practised the fundamental principles of RC and his many aspects. It has been an important growing time for me, l learned to listen to others and deal with conflicts, to open more my understanding and my heart to others. I found it was helping people to discover some parts of themselves that they were not aware of. RC can be a personal transformation process as well as a community transformation process based on being honest, listening and accepting each other and their differences. Not to ignore conflict is so important for being able to live human unity in oneself as well as in a community.