Atmah, the GCC's first Social Impact Bond launched by the Authority of Social Contribution is an innovative partnership launched in collaboration with Department of Community Development, Aldar Properties, Aldar Education and Zayed Higher Organisation for People of Determination.
Atmah is the first initiative of its kind in the region to equip People of Determination in Abu Dhabi with job skills and help them secure permanent employment
Launched in May 2020, Atmah has already celebrated many successes including launching the partnership in only six months, the implementation of distance learning facilitated by home mentors during COVID lockdown, all eight specialist trainers hired and trained, the enrolment and consistent attendance of 25 students, and positive feedback from the programme’s curriculum board, ASDAN, which has described the initiative as: “the most impressive first submission especially considering the constraints of distance learning.”
The first stage of the Atmah programme saw a group of Students of Determination learn skills to help them gain independence including valuable communication, numeracy and vocational skills through distance learning that was implemented to ensure students of determination could keep learning during the COVID lockdown.
Students learnt vocational skills, such as work awareness and personal safety. They will then graduate towards employability, learning teamwork, how to overcome barriers and customer service, amongst other element ready for when they begin their six-month work placements at leading organisations across Abu Dhabi, with the aim to secure permanent employment.
Social Impact Bonds are an internationally established and successful way to finance the delivery of public service, involving the government, a social service provider and a social investor - using multi-party partnerships to bring together the right organisations to solve social challenges.
The positive programme feedback has led to the potential buy-in from several employers, interested in working in partnership with the programme to provide opportunities for the 25 students.
H.E. Salama Al Ameemi, Director General at Ma’an, said: “Ma’an is committed to improving the lives of People of Determination through identifying and implementing pioneering solutions. It is so positive to have such strong milestones achieved for the first SIB in the GCC. To employ such a new initiative in the region, especially during the current climate has been a challenge, but we are proving that through tenacity and flexibility, we can secure spectacular results, which will benefit individuals and communities across the emirate. We are so proud of every person involved within the ATMAH programme, from the hardworking students to the tenacious instructors and supportive families. We give thanks to our dedicated partners, the Department of Community Development, Aldar Properties, Aldar Education and Zayed Higher Organization for People of Determination for making ATMAH possible and we look forward to guiding the team towards the next six months.
” H.E Dr. Bushra Al Mulla, Executive Director of the Community Development Sector at DCD, said: “The ATMAH programme marks an important step for building a prosperous future for the whole of Abu Dhabi. We are pleased with the excellent results that have been achieved so far in the first SIBs project in the region and we look forward to seeing more positive results in the next phase of the programme.
“The Department has co-operated with Ma’an to implement SIBs with the goal to improve the quality of life for all members of society, including People of Determination as it’s our vision to provide a dignified life for everyone. We also co-operate with partners to create initiatives and programmes that target social challenges in Abu Dhabi, strengthening our aim to enhance the quality of life of all members of society, including People of Determination which is in line with Abu Dhabi's strategy for People of Determination.”
His Excellency Abdullah Ismail Al Kamali, Executive Director of the organization's People of Determination Sector at the Zayed Higher Organization for People of Determination, praised the success of the training program “ATMAH” saying: “Zayed Higher Organization for People of Determination, under the supervision of H.H. Sheikh Khalid bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Chairman of the ZHO Board, supports people of determination and their families to embark on wider horizons. It continues its diligent work to make this programme a success by conducting evaluation and continuously supervising, joining a number of its experienced cadres of trainers and specialists to transfer experience in dealing with people of determination and their families. They will provide skills and training necessary to enter the field of professional work and provide permanent job opportunities.”
“ZHO is working hard to implement the government's directions towards empowering People of Determination and enhancing their community participation, by creating sustainable employment programmes.This is achieved through building effective partnerships between the Foundation, government entities and the private sector and contribute to activating the strategy of integrating People of Determination in Abu Dhabi.
Talal Al Dhiyebi, Chief Executive Officer, Aldar Properties said: “As we mark an important milestone in the ATMAH programme, we are reminded of the incredible talent that exists in our communities, many on the lookout for the right opportunities to succeed. This initiative is a great example of how the public and private sectors can work together in an innovative way to create impactful programmes that address matters of critical importance to our society and truly change lives.
Social responsibility sits at the core of what we do in Aldar and as a member of the wider community, we are committed to enhancing the social fabric of Abu Dhabi. Through our partnership with the Authority of Social Contribution – Ma’an, we will continue to harness the untapped potential of people of determination while promoting a more diverse and inclusive workforce.”
Sahar Cooper, Chief Executive Officer, Aldar Education, said: “Inclusivity and the value it brings, not only to the students, but to the communities within the UAE, ensuring that no child is left behind, is one of our key objectives at Aldar Education.It is this passion that drives us in this initiative and in creating this specialist pilot training initiative. We’re very fortunate to be working with likeminded partners, The Authority of Social Contribution – Ma’an, Aldar Properties, Department of Community Development and Zayed Higher Organization for People of Determination, who have shown just as much enthusiasm to secure the results we have achieved so far.
It is our pleasure to work with such inspiring students, each with a vibrant skill set and the willingness to achieve greatness. It is our role to equip the students with employability skills and help them secure traineeships and employment, something we couldn’t do without our incredible teaching staff, Inclusion team and the supportive families.”
Used by more than 30 countries worldwide, Social Impact Bonds are an internationally established and successful way to finance the delivery of public services. They involve the government, a social service provider and a social investor - using multi-party partnerships to bring together the right organizations to solve social challenges. It also encourages innovation and growth within the third sector.
The contract operates on a pay-for-success basis, whereby social service providers will have the freedom to innovate and come up with a solution that delivers the social outcome. Private investors, such as high net worth Individuals, philanthropic and corporate foundations, or investment funds, will then invest in the Social Impact Bond and the government will pay back the investor, but only if the outcomes are achieved.