CEO Message: Bold Women? Big Dreamers? Yes, right here in Aidha!

‘Empowering Big Dreams and Bold Moves’ sounds like a perfect tagline for Aidha.  Actually, it articulates the mission of the Bold is Beautiful Project, the signature philanthropy campaign of Benefit Cosmetics, which will be launched in Asia in May for the first time, with Aidha being one of the selected charities! Read more about the project and the bold, brave, beautiful women we have plenty in Aidha!    

A ‘bold move’ is exactly what Aidha Alumni, Puji Hastutik, undertook recently when she addressed the media launch of Benefit Cosmetics’ Bold is Beautiful Project. Soft spoken and self-effacing, Puji said she ‘couldn’t sleep for days’ and was ‘very, very nervous’ about having to deliver a speech to 70 bloggers and media influencers. (Would you have done it, and in a language that is not your first language? I’m guessing not!). She would not have known this at the time because she was concentrating so hard on her speech delivered flawlessly and without notes!) but many, including myself, fought to keep back tears at her honest and moving speech. She did it despite the nerves because she wanted ‘to keep on learning and improving herself’. That was important to her. Puji became the main breadwinner of her family when she was 16 years old. In the 18 years she has worked away from home and family, she has sacrificed much to put her brothers and sisters through school. Her dream is to set up her own chicken rice and duck noodle café back in her home town in Indonesia.  A big dream? Not really, if you see the determination and focus this extraordinary young woman has.

The Bold is Beautiful Project.was first launched last year in four countries. This year marks its introduction in Asia, with Singapore having been chosen as its very first city. You can imagine how surprised, and honoured, we were when Aidha was selected to be one of the two pioneer recipients of the Bold is Beautiful Project. Throughout the month of May, the proceeds of every brow wax will be divided between Aidha and UN Women’s Girls2Pioneers programme. Watch out for more details soon on how you can get involved.  

Much like Puji, the bold and brave moves of another Alumni, Radliyah, produces that same lump-in-the-throat effect. Radliyah will proudly be opening her own hostel in Semarang, Indonesia soon after years of hard work, homesickness, and determined saving. But now, with a more sustainable income and her children having received a better education, they all have a fighting chance to break out of the poverty cycle.   

Helping to empower some of these big dreams is what all of you – our dedicated mentors and volunteers – do but one Aidha mentor is going just that one step further. Selina McCole will be soon running the Marathon de Sable on 18 April to raise funds for Aidha (click here). This ultramarathon in the Sahara Desert is considered ‘the toughest footrace in the world’ and the equivalent of running five marathons in five days. Runners have to carry all their supplies, except water, and subject themselves to unimaginable 50°C heat, searing thirst, and blister-inducing sand in their shoes. Please support Selina’s fundraising campaign. It will only take a minute to donate  (and it’s much easier than running in that unforgiving desert yourself, surely…)

If you have a helper, or know of someone who does, and she’s not yet a student at Aidha, empower her today. You can fund their module or bring them to our next Open House. Every big dream has to start somewhere!      

One thought on “CEO Message: Bold Women? Big Dreamers? Yes, right here in Aidha!

  1. Nancy Levicki, President and Co Founder Dress for Success Houston

    Karen…as always I am so impressed with ALL you are doing and the lives you are transforming…… keep going!
    Love, Nancy


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