Jun 16, 2020

A helping hand - online!

"Talking to the counsellor has made me feel much more relaxed and hopeful. Thanks to ATMA for reaching out", says Smt Sindhu (name changed to protect privacy), after the online session with the ATMA counsellor. "I am now confident that whatever comes, I can face it with courage", she says.

The unprecedented Covid situation has landed a severe blow to the people of Kerala who are struggling to recover from the floods of two consecutive years. Lockdowns and quarantines are seriously hampering support and develpoment work too.

In this situation, ATMA Foundation has come up with online support systems to offer counselling and guidance to people in need. Many people in Kerala, in spite of their socio-econimic status, have some kind of access to smartphones. ATMA has been leveraging this to reach out to people.

One-on-one guidance sessions through video calling is helping people to cope with the stress and manage within the  uncertainty. Helping professionals and interested volunteers are being trained online in basic mentoring skills, so that they can offer support and succour to the people in their neighbourhoods. Short talks on useful topics like stress management, family harmony, etc  are being aired on the ATMA Youtube channel, to help people find peace in these struggling times. ATMA is also using the medium of art to reach out to people. Performances by eminent artistes are being aired on Youtube. ATMA is supporting artistes to take live sessions for their students through the ATMA Digital & Financial Empowerment Centre.

As soon as the lockdown eases, ATMA will provide school kits and digital learning accessories to children in need. 

Within the challenges thrown up by the current situation, ATMA Foundation is trying to find ways and means to continue providing support to people in need. 

Feb 28, 2020

Expressing Talents, Celebrating Creativity

“The children of ATMA Gurukulam are incredibly amazing! How easily they come up on stage and speak! And how polite they are in their interactions!” Dr Deepthi, renowned obstetrician and a well-wisher of ATMA, was bowled over by our children’s performance at the ATMA Gurukulam Day.

She was just one among the many who watched in wonder as the 20 girls at ATMA Gurukulam came out with their creative talents and management skills.

The second ATMA Gurukulam Day was conducted on 2nd February, at the ATMA Gurukulam premises at Puranattukara. The programme is conceptualised as a leadership development opportunity for the children, where in ATMA volunteers and mentors guide the children to organise and conduct the event by themselves.

This year, apart from cultural programmes and experience sharing, there were special donor counters set up and managed by the children. There was a live mehendi (henna designs on the hand) counter, a hand-made gifts counter, a selfie corner and a food specialties counter. Our children, their friends, and ATMA volunteers worked together for more than a week to make beautiful hand-made gifts, fun selfie frames and packed foods for the counters. They also made ‘microgreens’ by growing edible sprouts in old food containers.

The children themselves manned the counters, welcomed the guests and conducted the stage programmes. Ms Shyama (name changed), the first professional graduate from Gurukulam, was honoured for her achievement. The ‘mothers’ who take care of the children were also appreciated on stage for their selfless service.

More than 200 people attended the Gurukulam day function. All of them were mesmerised by the programmes, and touched  by the love and affection that they could closely feel within the ATMA Gurukulam Family. For the children, it was a day they could call completely their own.

Feb 18, 2020

Empowerment through Financial Planning

Financial Literacy classes for children
Financial Literacy classes for children

“Natural Disasters strike without warning, often without precedent. We may not be able to prevent them, but we can be prepared to face them.”

ATMA Foundation continues its efforts of rehabilitation by empowering the people in flood-prone areas with the basics of financial literacy and financial planning. A large number of people are still unaware of the benefits of insurance, and many do not make effective use of their bank accounts and savings plans. The existing practice of depending on cash for all transactions, and the absence of insurance or investments have taken a huge toll on people’s financial situation in the aftermath of the flood.

Over the last few months ATMA has been engaging with women, children and senior citizens, imparting to them the basics of digital & financial literacy. Sessions by Financial Counsellors, and interactions with bankers and insurance officers have helped them gain a good understanding of the financial world. Many of them have opened new bank accounts, and started using mobile or internet banking facilities. In the unfortunate event of a disaster striking again, their financial preparedness will definitely be better than the last time.

Other projects in the pipeline include distribution of school kits to children in flood affected areas and installation of water purification units in flood-prone areas.

Basics of Digital Literacy
Basics of Digital Literacy
 
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