Aidha's Graduates Impacting Lives

On Sunday, Aidha, a Singapore charity that provides financial literacy programmes to foreign domestic workers and lower-‐income women, held its annual graduation ceremony.

Singapore, Monday 21 October 2019 - On Sunday, Aidha, a Singapore charity that provides financial literacy programmes to foreign domestic workers and lower-‐income women, held its annual graduation ceremony. 140 graduating students, their employers and employers’ families, along with Aidha volunteers and supporters, attended the ceremony. The event was graced by guests-of-honour H.E. Ambassador Joseph Del Mar Yap, Ambassador from the Embassy of the Republic of the Philippines in Singapore and Mdm Sashikala Premawardhane, High Commissioner from the Sri Lanka High Commission in Singapore. The keynote speaker was Ms Dipa Swaminathan, the founder of "Its Raining Raincoats" and winner of the President's Volunteerism and Philanthropy Award who shared about how each one of us can change the world, even if for just one person, with simple acts of kindness and encouraged the graduates to all become change-makers in their world, their community, and their family.

Aidha aims to provide opportunities for FDWs to change their lives and the lives around them through financial education. Graduates from Aidha impact on an average of nine other lives*. This means that from the Aidha’s Class of 2019, 1,260 lives will be impacted in some of the poorest communities in Asia. Jacqueline Loh, CEO of Aidha, mentioned that, “We are so proud to see our students graduate with new found skills, self-belief and purpose. We witness this transformation taking place in our classrooms every single Sunday and this celebration is the culmination of their hard work and determination.We also love that so many of our graduates are focused not only on their own goals but also on paying it forward and sharing their learning with others back home.”

The graduating students have completed at least 12 months of course work for Aidha’s most advanced courses on financial planning or on entrepreneurship. In total Aidha enrolls over 800 domestic workers in its courses every year, starting new classes on a rolling basis every month.

Some examples of Aidha students impacting lives of others are the winners of Personal Financial Plan competition, Christina Villena de Guzman and Siti Mujiati who spoke at the graduation.

After taking Aidha’s courses, Christina learned to not only save money but she is also finding other ways to grow her money. Using  her  learnings  from Aidha, she has now invested in real estate back home and hopes to open an Internet café in Libmanan, a town in Camarines Sur, the Philippines. She explained, "I want to give my community easy access to the Internet so they can retrieve information from the web." Aidha has taught Christina that such dreams are achievable with proper business and financial knowledge.

Siti Mujiati  had no long--‐term goals prior to joining Aidha. At the graduation ceremony, she talked about simply planning to work as an FDW in Singapore to support her family back home. Through her learnings at Aidha, she has now charted her plan of opening a hydroponic farm back in Indonesia to  provide her community with fresher and healthier farm produce. "I also want to expose the young  generation of urban farming in Cilacap, Central Java," Siti added. ”Aidha's classes had enabled me to put my dream into action and I am now on track to start my farm when I return to Indonesia.”

The graduation ceremony not only celebrated the students' individual successes but also  highlighted the importance of their employers' support for them to pursue Aidha's courses. Several of the winning students who spoke credited their employers with encouraging them to join Aidha. Employers and their families filled up more than half of the auditorium.

Aidha's fortnightly classes focus mainly on money management to assist students with their finances and on communications and other soft skills to boost their overall confidence. Each module lasts six months with new batches starting every month. For more information about Aidha, please visit http://www.aidha.org.

 

*Based on data Aidha collects from its students, for every student at Aidha, on average nine lives are impacted. This is based on the average of the number of dependents they have, the average number of businesses they start back home and the average number of employees these businesses hire. To assess its impact, Aidha conducts an extensive survey with all of its students when they first enrol for Aidha and upon the completion of each module in order to track their progress over time.

Close

FOCUS Magazine Issue 73 is out!