When Animesh first started volunteering with Aidha, he wasn’t sure how the students would respond to having a male mentor. “It was a bit challenging in the beginning as I didn’t know if students would be comfortable speaking up right away,” he explained.
But as he got more comfortable in the role, so did his students.
The VP of Commodities for CITIBank-Singapore first heard about Aidha from a friend three and a half years ago and decided to volunteer right away. The idea of helping foreign domestic workers develop independence and self-confidence appealed to his strong desire to help others and to share what he could.
“I’ve been involved in many different areas in Aidha: from mentorship and mentor buddying, to fundraising and helping with the Alumni Development Programme,” he said. “And I was also the Project Lead in selecting the top business plans for the Aidha Graduation.”
With four Module 2 batches and two computer workshops under his belt, Animesh shows no sign of slowing down anytime soon. “I’m taking on two more Module 2 batches this year,” he proudly shared. That’s a significant commitment as Module 2 classes meet twice a month. Clearly, there’s something deeper that compels Animesh to dedicate more than one Sunday a month to Aidha…
The joys of mentoring
As a mentor, Animesh believes that he also learns a lot from his experiences with the students. He shared a story from one of his Venture Club sessions:
“We were discussing risk management. My students were sharing their thoughts and experiences, when suddenly, one lady got emotional and tearful. I had to manage not only the whole class but myself too… but thanks to the coordination, support and love among the students, the topic made everyone’s day a great learning experience.”
To his fellow mentors, this is what Animesh had to share:
“Being a mentor is not only about teaching but enriching someone else’s life with real experiences. Helping to shape someone’s life is tough. Take the challenge. Help your students believe in themselves and that their dreams can come true.”
Animesh’s passion,dedication and energy make him a role model and he is highly regarded by other mentors. Catch him on campus and you too will be encouraged to adopt batches and experience the same highs that keep him and many others at Aidha ‘addicted’ to volunteering.
By Ting Claravall