CEO’s Message for August 2015: Exciting new projects ahead… and we need your help!

Karen Fernandez (front row, second from left) on the AVPN-NUS Community Trail

Karen Fernandez (front row, second from left) on the AVPN-NUS Community Trail

August was a month of both celebrations and musings on where Singapore was headed in the next 50 years. Such thoughts were on our minds too. Sharing the SG50 mood, we asked our community what they loved about Singapore and you’ll see that the responses were endearing and funny at the same time.What lies for Aidha as we continue on the exciting path of growth we started on last year?

First on our list is the long awaited Curriculum Review. Our aim, as always, is to ensure our programmes are student-focused and relevant to them, and enable them to achieve sustainable futures when they eventually return home. With these goals in mind, we will be soon be seeking feedback from students, Alumni and mentors, revamping the curriculum, and providing the necessary support training for mentors. Programme roll-out is targeted for 1 April 2016, a tad challenging perhaps, but I’m a firm believer in ‘where there’s a will, there is always a way’. If you would like to help us in this key project which will shape our curriculum for the next few years, we definitely want to hear from you.

Excitingly, another key project has arisen out of our newly awarded IPC (Institution of Public character)  status, which we are definitely still in celebratory mood about!  We are aiming to pilot a programme which will help local low-income women to show that our work directly ‘benefits the Singaporean community’, one of the fundamental conditions for IPCs. We’re now in the midst of gathering information about this target population, identifying financial literacy programmes already available so our offering will be unique, and potential partners we can work with. It is a fascinating project and again, if you would like to get involved, do let us know as soon as possible.

The last big change is perhaps not so exciting but necessary in its own way. As of 1 Oct 2015, we’ll will be raising course fees to $400 per module. We‘ve tried to hold this off for as long  as we could but rising operational costs make this impossible to avoid any longer. However, with the 150 scholarships that you helped to raise funds in the recent Aidha Tour de Singapore Bike Ride,  it means that no student will miss out on the chance to join us simply because she is unable to pay the fees.

As we forge ahead to continue providing relevant, focused, and life-changing programmes for our students, we’re counting on your help and support. We won’t be able to achieve this without you!

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