Golden Girls Mohanam was founded by Rajaveni in 2015 in Auroville, India. With its developmental focus on the girls and women of the greater Mohanam community, the Golden Girls Mohanam project emerged from the Mohanam Village Heritage Center with the goal of protecting dozens of girls through health education, lifestyle guidance, and self-care practice. The Mohanam Village Heritage Center, of which Rajaveni is the Executive Director, acts as an indispensable bridge between Auroville, an international city in Tamil Nadu, India, and its surrounding villages. The Center's Mission is to keep alive the local and rural traditions of the Tamil culture.
Rajaveni, fondly referred to as Raji, created Golden Girls Mohanam under the guidance of Melissa Michaels, Golden Girls Global Founder and Co-Director. Raji has followed in the able footsteps of Bhavana, a now Ancestor and long-time mentor, who started women’s village work after meeting Melissa in Kottakarai in 1987.
Golden Girls Mohanam is working to preserve and teach the traditional Tamil cultural arts, natural healthcare, and diet. The programming serves as an antidote to the infiltration of western ways, phones, TV, drugs, early sex, etc. Raji has cultivated freedom and empowerment in her work with the girls and is lifting the veils of oppressive cultural protocol. Her work has been so transformative that the girls’ mothers want to learn what their children are doing. They want to participate.
“I did not have guidance or idea about how to create this future fully. This Golden Girls Global group gave me enthusiasm and vision to continue the work. My sisters are there surrounding me, making me more strong.” ~ Rajaveni, Executive Director, Mohanam Village Heritage Center
- COVID-19 - With the closing of the Community Center during the pandemic, it was hard to find a suitable place for the girls and women to gather and stay connected. Meetings were organized in village homes when possible.
- FUNDING - While Golden Girls Mohanam received some donations over the past year, funding has been sporadic, making it challenging to sustain programming. Even with volunteers helping at no charge, programs have been closed for almost one year.
- INFLUX OF TECHNOLOGY - Young people are being exposed to excessive amounts of out of context technology without any discernment about content. This can lead to confusion about cultural identity and other destructive diversions from healthy human development.
- FOCUS - The unprecedented challenges of the past year have made the leaders at Mohanam more courageous and confident. This has led to new levels of creativity and ever greater collaboration. The focus has shifted from thinking about the BIG vision to living a simple life in a humble, connected, and satisfying way with consistent visioning.
- HOPE - The girls and women served by Golden Girls Mohanam have come to see the organization as a mother who helps them see sunlight, fresh air, bigger horizons, movement, connection, and HOPE.
GOALS FOR NEXT YEAR
- To continue to nurture positive cultural shifts by holding on to local values, offering holistic personality development experiences , focusing on areas of self-discovery, identifying passions, and training in special art fields.
- To expand their exposure on platforms that will showcase their talents and resource development. This will help them further create self-sustainable strategies for their futures.
- To actively participate in a community network that supports them in improving their interpersonal skills and developing their digital skills.
- To prepare them for a futuristic journey driven by their economic empowerment through their chosen passion and developed skill set.