Atma

Atma's Mission: Building capacity of education NGOs to achieve organisational sustainability & scalability thereby enabling delivery of quality education. Atma Values are: o Alone we can do so little. Together we can do so much. (~Helen Keller) o Excellence is never an accident. (~Aristotle) o Strength lies in differences not in similarities. (~Stephen Covey) o If you say you're going to do something, do it. If you start something, finish it." (~Epictetus)
Jun 22, 2015

An A-Z on fundraising at Marathon events for NGOs!

Danny Carrol - individual marathon runner
Danny Carrol - individual marathon runner

Atma provides support to education NGOs in 10 organizational developmental areas like Fundraising, Human Resources, Program Development and more. Atma also supports them by designing and implementing projects in these areas with the help of skilled associates, conducting trainings and workshops and facilitating resource linkages with peers, funders and experts.

This month we conducted a workshop on 'Marathon Essentials' - a workshop that gave a well rounded perspective on how NGOs can participate in a marathon for the purpose of fundraising and how they can make an event like this successful for them. 

Atma had called in experts from organisations like United Way of Mumbai, Magic Bus and Reality Gives and also individual Marathon Runners and fundraisers such as Danny Carroll who spoke at lenght about their experiences. In all 18 education NGOs participated in the workshop and were excited to make the most of the coming Mumbai Marathon 2016 event. 

Without funds, NGOs cannot scale and become sustainable.  Workshops is one of our ways to make an education NGO become BIGGER, BETTER & STRONGER,

Mar 24, 2015

Good news from Mumbai: OSCAR's growth & Mann's new Employment Cell

Oscar
Oscar's Annual Day

Monitoring OSCAR’s growth 

Mumbai-based NGO OSCAR celebrated its 5th Annual Day on February 23, 2015. In many ways, this event showcased why OSCAR's unique model of reducing dropout rates by engaging children in sports is such a big success!

OSCAR has come a long way from the time it started. According to Atma’s Baseline Survey, as of 2015, OSCAR is reaching out to 1750 children in Mumbai.  OSCAR’s quality of program has improved significantly and it is not just about children but also about engaging parents in the process. At their Annual Day, this was evident.

Owing to their growing scale, Atma has decided to support OSCAR with new Monitoring & Evaluating tools. Antoine Dewatripont, an Atma Associate with a Masters in Economics (Analysis & Research) from ULB University, Brussel was leading this project.

OSCAR’s program has significantly helped children living in the slums understand the important of hygiene, physical fitness and the importance of staying in school until a high literacy level is achieved.

Going forward, it is going to be easy for OSCAR to monitor their goals and successes!

 

Mann’s new 'Employment Cell'

 

As of 2015, Atma Partner Mann is working on 45 children with multiple intellectual disorders. Many of who come from challenging economic backgrounds and cannot afford paying for special education services.

Mann is taking its services a step forward by providing training to children who are capable so that they get an opportunity to be independent. It is making an attempt to either help students find employment in other industries or at the Mann centre where students learn how to make unique handcrafted products. And so far, it has been successful at both!

In the past few months Mann has had series of exhibitions where ‘Mann-Made’ products were sold. And one of the students, Deepak, was able to find a training opportunity at a well-known fashion designer's studio.

With the new employment cell, chances of students getting employed have increased. Also, good Samaritans who are willing to help are able to reach out to children who have a genuine need.  

Atma Associate Antoine with OSCAR
Atma Associate Antoine with OSCAR's founder Ashok
Students at Mann
Students at Mann's Newly started Employment Cell
Mann
Mann's Deepak (left) trained at Studio Mujrosa
Dec 22, 2014

An eventful month: Sports, Tech and Policy Push

Atma cheers for
Atma cheers for 'Yellow House' on UIF's Sports Day

This December, we were the cheer leaders and mentors for a big group of students at our portfolio organization Udaan India Foundation's Sports Day. More than 300 children, along with their parents, got together at a ground in Mumbai’s Powai region.

The children showed their skills in various sports – running, balancing and jumping. But the best part was that the parents too joined in! While we cheered for the children, the children cheered for their mothers and fathers! What made this sports day interesting was the bonding seen between teachers, parents and students.

Atma portfolio Udaan India Foundation has come a long way since it joined the Accelerator Program. This year, Udaan India Foundation is reaching out to 800 children! It currently employ 22 full-time staff and in next year plan to recruit four more for the management positions.

Leveraging Technology for Education

A worrying figure is often quoted by Indian media. 4% of our children never start school. 58% don’t complete primary schools. And 90% don’t complete school. Is there a solution for this? Can dropout rates be reduced? Can education be made more fun?

In July 2014, Atma proposed a project Leveraging Technology for Education (LTE) to ING to address this issue. Technology partner Zaya joined in to develop educational content for children at municipal schools in Mumbai. After ideating over the curriculum, relevant content was developed and the tablets along with the specially designed software was distributed to students. 

Last week, we visited a municipal school in Vile-Parle, a Mumbai suburb, and found the children using their new tablet computers for a Math class. The teachers and students leisurely sat on the ground first connecting the Wi-fi and then switched on their tablets. Something was different - no notebooks, no pens, and no fear of numbers! The children learnt tables and sums through interactive online lessons. The teachers too claimed the classes are less noisy and the students are more involved in the subject.

So many smiles have been added since the LTE project went online. It’s a win-win.

 

A platform for framing policies for children with special needs

Atma presently has five non-profits in its portfolio that work with special children and individuals. Through our portfolios, we reach out to approximately 600 special children/adults. The question of inclusive quality education for these children has concerned us for long. What India needs desperately is progressive policies in this area.

We are glad that our portfolio organization Sol’s Arc has taken the lead and involved government representatives to frame new polices for children with learning disabilities. At present, psychologists, special ed teachers, other non-profits are involved in fine-tuning their recommendations to the Maharashtra State government.

Atma has partnered with Observers Research Foundation, a Mumbai-based Think-Tank and Sol’s Arc to strengthen this platform. A report with recommendations will be submitted to the The Maharashtra State government by the end of December 2014.  

Lets hope that children with special needs will begin their new year with a new hope. 

Parents participate in UIF
Parents participate in UIF's Sports Day
A mother cheers for her child at UIF
A mother cheers for her child at UIF's Sports Day
A teacher shows a student how to work on a tablet
A teacher shows a student how to work on a tablet
A student uses tablet computer to study Maths
A student uses tablet computer to study Maths
Mh
Mh'tra State under Sec Srinivas Shastri at forum
Experts discuss recomm at Atma office
Experts discuss recomm at Atma office

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