Bold for Change: Celebrating the Courage of Singapore’s FDWs – A Salute to Women Power

To celebrate International Women’s Day 2017, Aidha and the Singapore Committee for UN Women join forces to organise an Appreciation Luncheon for Foreign Domestic Workers (FDWs).

Written by: Vittoria O.

On March 19th, the Tent Plaza at United World College, Dover, was set up to welcome a large number of visitors for the Appreciation Luncheon celebrating the power and determination of FDWs. Apart from the festive lunch, the event included a STEM workshop run by the UN Women’s Girls2Pioneers, a free brow wax and personal grooming workshop organised by Benefit Cosmetics, money management games and live music.

Aidha and the Singapore Committee for UN Women have a long-standing history of promoting empowerment and emancipation of women. In fact Aidha began initially as a project of the Singapore Committee of UN Women and was provided support and seed funding in its early days as it was spun off into and independent organisation.  Along with other Singapore-based organisations, the Singapore Committee for UN Women worked hard to improve the living and working conditions of FDWs in Singapore. Ms. Trina Liang-Lin, the current president of the Committee, reminded guests that basic rights such as reasonable working hours and receiving a regular day off, despite the legal right to a day off, are still ongoing battles for FDWs. Working synergistically alongside the Committee, Aidha has been tirelessly working towards helping many FDWs towards financial and personal empowerment.

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Ms. Trina Liang-Lin, the current president of the Committee spoke about basic rights for FDWs

None of this would have been possible without the support of external donors. At the luncheon, FDWs had the chance to participate in a personal grooming workshop organised by Benefit Cosmetics. This global cosmetic brand provides generous support to Aidha and the Singapore Committee for UN Women and even runs its own campaign, Bold is Beautiful, every May. Aidha and Girls2Pioneer are their adopted charities for the second consecutive year.

Being bold is beautiful! The ladies looking confident and glam after the personal grooming workshop with the team from Benefit Cosmetics

It is difficult to think of anyone better suited than Singapore FDWs to represent the key theme of this year’s International Women’s Day, ‘Be bold for change’. Several Aidha students and alumni took the stage to share their experiences. What their life stories have in common is their exceptional courage and great determination. “Through your sacrifice and hard work you are all making an incredible difference to the future prospects of your families” said Ms. Jacqueline Loh, Aidha’s CEO, adding “This event is to salute the courage and perseverance of all FDWs in Singapore.”

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“And this event today is to salute the courage and perseverance of all FDWs in Singapore,” said Ms.Jacqueline Loh, Aidha’s CEO

Accompanied by the wonderful voices of Stealing Sirens and several dance performances led by personal trainer and Aidha supporter Ms. Sari Marsden, the event transformed into an extraordinary Sunday, and a true celebration of women who are not afraid to make a change.

Quick and fun session of Dollars and Sense facilitated by Aidha Programmes Manager, Ms. Marjanne Van Der Helm

Brewing up a storm! The ladies enjoying their session from the STEM workshop organised by Singapore Committee for UN Women and creating a few customised concoctions of beauty products

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Work it! Ms. Sari Marsden, an Aidha supporter and a lifestyle coach has been volunteering her time at Aidha with fun fitness moves

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From L to R: Ms. Jacqueline Loh, Aidha’s CEO, Ms. Pia Bruce, Singapore Committee for UN Women’s Executive Director and Ms. Claudine Lim, Aidha’s Chair reunited for a fun picture!

Voila! Brows waxed by the brow experts, Benefit Cosmetics

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