Women are powerful catalysts in creating positive changes in any society. Aidha’s motto stems from this belief. The training programmes fashioned by Aidha present a perfect case study for the research team at Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Study for measuring the “Multiplier effects of empowering foreign domestic workers in Singapore”.
Written by: Preethy Sajan
Aidha has been instrumental in bettering the future of many FDWs in Singapore by imparting financial, entrepreneurial and IT training. Be it a dream business, improving the living standards of dependents, educating children back home, the students at Aidha are making tremendous strides in realising their aspirations, thanks to the robust programmes at Aidha. As far as Aidha is concerned, the buck doesn’t stop there. Aidha also strives to create an impact on the FDW students’ kith and kin.
“As Rawls pointed out in A Theory of Justice, education and training is a primary good that everyone should be entitled to, regardless of their gender, race and socioeconomic background. Financial education has become a crucial part of general knowledge in today’s world. The courses at Aidha provide domestic workers with access for this basic primary good that would benefit them lifelong. The policy analysis exercise conducted by LKY students showed that the courses at Aidha not only increase students’ own understanding of basic financial knowledge, but also significantly benefit their household and communities back at home,” says Ms. Yvonne Chen Jie, Professor, Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, National University of Singapore.
The comprehensive study presents key findings in three key areas based on quantitative and qualitative analysis of data. On the knowledge and financial behaviour front, the study reveals — 21% of family members were more likely to keep cash in formal financial institutions; 13% were more likely to choose formal institutions when borrowing; 32% were more likely to make investments; research driven investment decisions increased by 11%; keeping financial records increased by 12%. The study shows a positive impact on the social front — families’ reliance on remittances reduced by 11%; students who completed the programme were 28% more likely to help their family members/friends start/open businesses. On the economic front, the family members’ businesses demonstrated better performance; businesses were 28% more likely to be sustainable; 41% were more likely to make profits; 18% of their businesses were likely to create employment for their families and communities.
“With the effort from Aidha, students also feel more empowered and confident. The courses provide an equal opportunity for these women so that they can level the playing field for a sustainable future,” lauds Ms Yvonne Chen Jie. Staying true to its core ideals, Aidha continues its mission by giving more power to women, a vital need for the betterment of society.