The heartwarming story of Wiwik Sunariyah (this month’s featured student) is the real reason why we all do what we do at Aidha. Wiwik arrived in Singapore 15 years ago to an unknown future, buoyed only the belief that things could not be any worse here than the dire situation she had left behind at home in Indonesia; yet today she has a plan for her future and savings to help her to get there. After years of hard work and determination, undertaking Aidha’s financial literacy programme, and with support from her employers, Wiwik has now bought land in her hometown. In a few years’ time, a new home for her family will sit on this land together with her very own nasi padang restaurant – a cherished dream that has kept her going all this time.
This is the very real difference that each and every one of you – our volunteers, supporters and donors – makes in the lives of our students.
It is the 170 cyclists who recently participated in our Aidha Tour de Singapore Bike Ride at the unearthly hour of 5:30am to cycle through Singapore to help raise funds for our programmes. It is the small but dedicated project team of volunteers who prepped for months to get every tiny logistical detail as perfect as they could for the Bike Ride. It is the scores of volunteers, students and staff who, on that still-dark Sunday morning, lugged heavy cartons of water, oranges and bananas from the car park to the start line, decorated the start/finish line with balloons and banners, and who baked trays of food for the hungry bikers and guests to have at the finish-line. There was no mistaking the passion and big-heartedness of everyone at the Bike Ride which drove this event which will eventually help even more students like Wiwik.
It is volunteer extraordinaire, Selina McCole, who powered on through six long days of 50°C desert heat, searing thirst, blistered feet and unappetising powdered food in the Marathon de Sables, dubbed ‘the toughest foot race in the world,’ simply to raise funds for Aidha so more women can benefit from our programmes.
April has been a very inspiring month, both because our students continue to seize the opportunities provided to them and do achieve their dreams to break out of the poverty cycle for themselves and their families, and because of every one of you who continue to make those opportunities possible.
An enormous and heartfelt thank you to you all.