Working at ARMMAN
Written by Sonya Ochaney
I have recently joined ARMMAN. This is my very first job and I didn’t know what to expect but I was pleasantly surprised by the end of the first day itself.
I had an orientation on the first day which introduced me to various departments and projects of ARMMAN. I got into conversation with the project officers working on the DFID mMitra and Arogya Sakhi home-based care project.
I was trying to understand the project and its expected impact. Tania is responsible for training the chosen Arogya Sakhis to be health entrepreneurs which entails diagnostic training, ante-natal, post-natal and infancy care. When she started, she only had a working knowledge of Marathi and here she was required to conduct training in Marathi for native Marathi speakers! With the help of her colleagues and friends she learnt the language. Of course, her trainees were also very supportive and her language skills (or lack of them) brought some fun element to the training. The desire of Sakhis to acquire the necessary training to be Health Entrepreneurs was inspiring and humbling. These women wanted to acquire these skills not only for themselves but also to empower others in and around their villages. There has also been a lot of learning for Tania with respect to project management, proposal writing and developing tools for monitoring and evaluation.
Nivedita is involved with developing the voice messages and animations which are designed to disseminate timed and targeted culturally appropriate comprehensive information on preventive care and simple interventions during emergencies during the antenatal period and childhood. The purpose is to educate the womenwith regards to caring for her-self and her new born. Nivedita experienced a steep learning curve as she was required to understand certain technological aspects of designing the messages and animations. She worked very closely with the technical team and is now well-versed with these mechanisms. She also feels that her communication skills have improved considerably since joining ARMMAN. She also got the opportunity to conduct training for the first time and enjoyed the experience.
Tania and Nivedita have found ARMMAN to be an enriching experience. When I hear them talk I feel that they successfully overcame the many challenges they faced and have grown as individuals and professionals. The project has been a very beneficial and empowering experience for the Arogya sakhis as well. It has given them financial independence, respect in the family and community, a say in decision making and most of all it has given them dreams. After undergoing the Arogya Sakhi training many of the women have decided to pursue further studies.
I was excited about joining ARMMAN and now I am glad I chose this organisaton for my first job. Here I will be empowered to help others which itself can be a life changing experience. I am looking forward to being a part of the innovative approach of ARMMAN to use technology to reach out to maximum individuals as well as to deepening my understanding of the issues that the project is aiming to resolve.