SINGAPORE (October 23, 2023) – Aidha, a Singaporean charity dedicated to empowering domestic workers and other low-income women, held their 17th graduation ceremony yesterday (22), with 53 new graduates passing out with greater financial literacy, business acuity and self-confidence.
Studies have shown that migrant domestic workers contribute a whopping $ 8.2 billion to Singapore’s economy, but last year alone, more than 3,500 such workers have fallen prey to scams, resulting in a loss of more than S$ 25 million. These individuals are often excluded from financial benefits such as loan facilities, and end up struggling to save despite the significant contributions they make to the economy.
“Our aim is to change the status quo for migrant domestic workers in Singapore, giving them the confidence and inspiration to forge a better life for themselves — now and in the future. Arming these groups with financial knowledge and access will strongly help to address the financial struggles they face, and not to mention, help employers who enrol their helpers at Aidha prevent difficult situations,” said Jacqueline Loh, CEO, Aidha.
Since 2006, Aidha has positively impacted over 6,000 women through its courses and initiatives. With Aidha’s courses of entrepreneurship under their belt, students have enjoyed a nearly 80% increase in their monthly savings and a 40% increase in business ownership in their home countries.
Their latest graduating class includes those who have successfully completed a series of at least two progressive six-month modules, which cover the areas of money management, communication, leadership, computer literacy and entrepreneurship, all of which are envisioned to help create a better life for themselves both in their current roles and in their future endeavours.
Another key feature that has come out of Aidha’s impact data is a strong multiplier effect, where each student is estimated to have impacted at least nine other lives, from sharing their earnings and learnings with family and friends, and by setting up businesses and providing employment to others.
Jacqueline adds, “It is truly inspiring to see how far our graduates have come from when they first enrolled at Aidha. By instilling a growth mindset through our courses, our students not only enhance their capacity to contribute to their household, but also pave the way for sustainable wealth creation for themselves and their loved ones back home.”
Upon completion of the course, a selected pool of 12 graduates were presented the opportunity to showcase their business and financial plans to Aidha’s corporate partners, as part of Aidha’s Graduation Competition held on October 8. The 12 finalists wowed the 100-strong audience, with their impressive skills and presentations. Understanding the importance of saving, the Personal Financial Plan Winner, Charito Baron Cabigas is determined to kickstart and expand her business, all in pursuit of being with her family in the future. Her investment in self-growth through Aidha reflects her proactive approach, and she’s already planning for the future by exploring investments back home in a rental property and motorised tricycle to secure a comfortable retirement in the Philippines. “I want to treasure time because I am not getting any younger!”
Ninik Rofiqoh Matkari, Aidha’s Business Plan Winner, is set to bring her newfound knowledge from Aidha back home to Jombang, East Java, Indonesia, where she’ll open and grow her F&B business. Her ultimate goal is to expand into event services and delivery. She hopes to inspire others to dream big with her remarkable journey.
Singapore is home to approximately 276,600 migrant domestic workers, many of whom are the backbone of households and care for families with dedication and compassion. “It’s imperative that we break the existing mould and grant them the opportunity to flourish,” concludes Loh.