Celebrating our children's success
ATMA Gurukulam – Enabling achievements, empowering dreams!
“I got an A+ in all 10 subjects?!” Chinchina couldn’t believe it when we told her the 10th Std results. Nor could Sangeetha, our Teacher- Volunteer who has been her academic mentor and teacher at ATMA Gurukulam for the last three years! And then, the children burst into a chaotic victory dance to celebrate her success!!
For all of us at ATMA Foundation, it was a moment of parental pride, a spot of glory. Our child had done it – went ahead and achieved that Perfect 10 – a dream that every secondary school student in Kerala aspires for.
Chinchina came to us after her 7th Std, a timid student with no idea of her own strengths. ‘Forget the past, and look towards the future’, we told her - the standard instruction given to every child who steps into the loving fold of ATMA Gurukulam Children’s Home. And that is exactly what she did. Every day, in every way, she was improving. With regular mentoring support from our founder - director C K Suresh, an expert counsellor and performance coach, she gained confidence and clarity. The camps and workshops she attended as part of our personality development programmes gave her greater exposure, drawing her out, enabling her to express her potential. Extra academic support from our teacher volunteers helped her to improve her basics in all subjects. Surrounded by a multitude of children’s magazines in English and Malayalam, her reading and language skills improved. She participated in sports at school – she was part of the Kho-kho team. She loved the dance classes and the craft classes at ATMA Gurukulam – and went ahead to win a dance scholarship from Kerala Sangeetha Nataka Akademi, and represent her school in the State Art & Craft Exhibition for two years straight.
And now, with her 10th std results, she has proved that she is ready to go ahead and forge her own success story. She is an inspiration to the other children at ATMA Gurukulam, who, too are getting ready to craft their own.
Anumol, another of our 10th std aspirants this year, surprised even herself when she cleared the math paper that she thought impossible – she had to learn a full 10 years’ worth of math in the one year that she was with us! Jayapriya completed her 12th std with an A+ in 4 out of 5 subjects, and has joined a degree programme. Chaitanya cleared her 12th std with a 100% marks in Sanskrit, the subject in which she has opted to do higher studies.
And for the last two months, the children have had an active holiday season – they attended a lecture-demo in Mohiniyattam, 2 workshops on self empowerment and a tinkering lab. They had many outings, and they celebrated Book day with student interns of ATMA Foundation. They had special sessions in English, Hindi, value education, dance and embroidery. They have also picked up pace on their general reading and daily yoga practice.
As we revel in the success and progress of our children, we are also grateful to them – for proving us right in believing in them, and in others like them – children who hail from challenging backgrounds, with no place to call home, and no means to chase their dreams.
We are thankful to all our donors and volunteers who have believed in us, in turn –without your support, none of this would have been possible. And many thanks to Global Giving, for enabling us to reach out across the globe to seek help!
Now, we are taking up the bigger challenge of expanding this project – to develop a residential facility for 150 children – boys and girls. The ATMA Gurukulam is currently functioning in a leased building with limited infrastructure. We have started the efforts to acquire sufficient land to build the new homes with better facilities.
We seek continued support from our donors to realise this dream.
Even as we strive with this uphill task, in the horizon we can see the smiles of hundreds of children like Chinchina, whose eyes would be shining with the joy of success, and the promise of a bright future.
Let us make this happen.
Accolades from all around