Aidha — Impacting lives for a decade

Aidha completes 10 years of enabling women to achieve financial emancipation and empowerment. As the journey continues with more initiatives and programmes, team Aidha hits celebration mode.

Written by: Preethy Sajan

Aidha has navigated through a fruitful 10 years since its inception on 19th July 2006. Students, volunteers, mentors, well-wishers along with Aidha’s board members, immediate past CEO, Ms Karen Fernandez, and newly appointed CEO, Ms Jacqueline Loh, came together on 17th July 2016 at the United World College (Dover) to celebrate its 10th anniversary. The event saw enthusiastic participation in fun activities — photo booth, fun quiz, cake cutting and potluck — setting the perfect ambiance for the occasion.

Claudine Lim, Co-founder and Chair cutting Aidha’s birthday cake with the Aidha team (From L-R: Aidha’s CEO, Jacqueline Loh, Claudine Lim, Karen Fernandez, Saleemah Ismail, Jocelyn Mompal (Joy), Marjanne van der Helm and Kate Vickery)

Amidst all the fun and frolic, it is hard to miss the effect of Aidha on its students and alumni. Fellow alumni Joy sees Aidha as a great opportunity for FDWs and says, “Aidha has changed me to become self-confident to face people, to give public speeches, and to build good relationships. I learnt how to spend wisely and to save for my future. And what I have learned from Aidha I pass it to my kids.” (Read more on Joy here)

Joy (front left) and her fellow trainees, Lilibeth, Blezy and Debbie posing with fun props

Over the past decade, Aidha has also created a positive impact on its volunteers and mentors. Long time volunteer Arshia Ahuja says, “Aidha is the chance to empower women and help provide them with a platform for a sustainable future.” She looks at it as an opportunity to also educate their families through knowledge transfer. Having completed 10 years with Aidha, Arshia appreciates its positive impact, “I have grown with it and it has exposed me to wonderful women who are driven and passionate about their dreams. It has allowed me to grow personally, to take on multiple roles and expand my horizons by engaging with students from a wide spectrum of backgrounds.”

Arshia (back row, 2nd from right) with the Aidha team and volunteers

Staff team member, Sharda Vishwanathan says, “Educate and Empower are the two words that I always equate Aidha with. Aidha for me is not just an organisation, but a movement that is building a community of micro-entrepreneurs and thus helping us achieve our vision of providing every woman an opportunity to create a sustainable life for herself and her community. The commitment of Aidha’s team members, the passion and dedication of its volunteers and mentors, the support from well-wishers and the perseverance of its students are the core propellers of Aidha’s journey forward.”

Sharda writing her birthday wish for Aidha. Cheers to education and empowerment!

Lastly, thank you to our summer interns, Nurul Amirah, Danielle Sim and Sylvia Ang ( 3rd to 5th from left) who help to organise the event.

More pictures from the event below:



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