Moving Towards the Dream
The dream project of ATMA Foundation is the ATMA Harmony Village – a unique multi-faceted project which integrates a range of assisted-living initiatives and community development engagements – including Elders’ Homes, Children’s Homes, Home for destitute women, projects for community health, mental health, family welfare, education, skill development, protection of the environment, etc.
The ATMA Harmony Village focuses on a strength-based approach to service. Elders, destitute women, homeless children, etc are usually considered as vulnerable groups who require support. At the Harmony Village, we would look at the strength and unique quality that each group possesses, and harness it to benefit others.
For example, when the Elders’ Homes and Children’s Homes are linked together, the children receive the love and wisdom of a grandparent, while the elders’ days are brightened by the energy and cheer of the children. The elders can contribute their time, expertise and resources to the various service projects at the Harmony Village. The community benefits from them, while they gain a sense of purpose, which leads to a healthy and active old age. Similarly, destitute women and youth can get trained at the Skill Development Centre – and join the workforce at the Harmony Village as caregivers and skilled workers – providing much-needed human resources for sustaining the project. The School of Social Work will provide a rich hands-on learning experience to social work students, while they, in turn, become professionally trained volunteers at the Harmony Village for the duration of their course.
In this manner, all projects at the ATMA Harmony Village are mutually supportive. This effective cross-utilization of tangible and intangible resources is the key feature of this project, leading to long term sustainability. It also empowers the inmates to live with dignity, as they are not only ‘takers’ of support, but also ‘givers’ of happiness to others. This will meet their emotional needs, and add purpose, confidence and quality to their life. The Village will also develop innovative models and practices which can be sustained with community participation.
Once completed, it will be a unique social work initiative, which would change the very concept of institutionalized care.