Annai Thantha Illam (ATI) as an organization is unique in that it allows you to take on different roles throughout your work experience. I am very grateful to have been able to take on various roles and learn a lot from them.
On a typical day at ATI, we encourage our clients to participate in many different day to day activities that are necessary for independent living. A new workshop we have implemented in the DAILI (differently abled independent living initiative) program are Hot Pot Lunches. Every Wednesday the clients will be able to prepare, cook and eat a meal together. Leading up to every Wednesday, they will collaboratively write out the recipes, create a budget and purchase the ingredients. During the workshop, roles are divided and each client is assigned a different task to master and complete. For example, higher functioning clients will take on the task of cutting vegetables, or assembling the meals while lower functioning clients will help with washing vegetables or setting up the table to sit down for their meals.
As you can imagine, on average, these tasks can be challenging and demanding for the clients. Day after day, we are in awe of how they are able to work together, combine individual strengths and accomplish tasks that would otherwise be very difficult. No task is unappreciated. Big or small, everyone’s contribution is necessary to make this initiative possible. The term “Unity” comes to mind here as it can be so inspiring watching the kids work together.
This inspiring sense of unity is also observed amongst the staff. This program would not be possible without all of the support and hard work of the amazing staff members. Each member’s job title may vary, but everyone’s motive is to provide an amazing experience for the clients. The staff at ATI are always eager to take on each others roles whenever necessary to help one another out and get a task done as efficiently as possible.
Over the past year at ATI, I have learned the importance of unity within a team in order to successfully accomplish a task. From working on different positions to working with different people throughout my time here, one concept that has remained constant was the sense of unity present among the staff and clients. I am so humbled to work alongside a group of hardworking individuals that really bring the idea of Unity to life every day at ATI.
Akshaniya Mohanrajah is in the process of completing her Bachelor of Science in Neuroscience and Human Biology from the University of Toronto. With her expertise, she has been working as a program coordinator at the ATI Foundation for more than a year.