Watching her three beloved children grow older, Joy developed one deep, burning desire: giving them the best possible opportunities in life. She was already coping with several different jobs, but deep down she knew: education is the key. Almost secretly, she decided to leave her hometown Iloilo and set off to Singapore.
Written by: Vittoria O.
Until today, the memory of leaving her children behind fills her eyes with tears. After a few years in Singapore, she was still unable to see the improvements that she had dreamed of and the homesickness was unbearable. But Joy had a special drive and a wonderful, supportive employer, who one day introduced her to Aidha.
Joy’s employer, Ms Su Chzeng Ong (left) who supported Joy to join Aidha in 2008
The shyness Joy felt when she first joined Aidha was soon replaced by new friendships and a new familiarity. She learned everything she needed to know about computers, business planning and entrepreneurship, and got extensive practical training. She graduated in 2009 and has already started several businesses back home, including a home-based internet café and a small room-rental business. Following her mother’s advice, Joy’s daughter opened her own provision shop and is now able to save money on a regular basis, making Joy the living proof that Aidha’s achievements reach far beyond Aidha students themselves.
Joy’s daughter, Ms Ninya opened her own provision shop back in Iloilo, Philippines
Joy knows that ideas and knowledge are not worth much when you’re too shy to try. But at Aidha, Joy also learned to have faith in herself. Aidha is where she became the confident woman that she is today. “Don’t think twice”, she says, “not everybody will look down on you just because you’re a maid. In Aidha, you will find the whole package. After training at Aidha, I can face anything and anyone. ”
Joy supported her three children’s education (pictured here)
None of Joy’s future plans focus on herself. Her three children have completed their education and are now three young independent adults who make her proud every day. Joy’s friends have already entrusted her with their own businesses and, since 2014, she was selected to be Aidha’s Deputy Campus Manager. Her new objective is to pass on Aidha’s knowledge to others and help spreading Aidha’s education, so that her story will never be called an exception.