A Collaboration to Empower Local Women

Source: DOT’s Facebook
Written by Sarah Datta

A special partnership has been flourishing between Aidha and another women-empowering Singapore-based non-profit organisation!

AWARE (Association of Women for Action and Research – one of Singapore’s leading gender equality groups) selected Aidha and Daughters of Tomorrow (DOT) as joint grantees for its ‘Power Fund’. Together with DOT, Aidha was tasked to develop and deliver an in-depth financial literacy training curriculum for low-income women in Singapore.

The curriculum – specially developed between May and July 2018 – consists of 10 sessions that explore financial goals and encourage saving, budgeting, and debt reduction amongst other important topics. The first four sessions were conducted weekly in September, and the remaining six sessions are being held monthly between October 2018 to March 2019.

Despite more than a decade in operation (and the recent curriculum revamp), the standard Aidha curriculum needed to be adjusted given the different beneficiary group. DOT’s beneficiaries are typically local women from low-income families, mostly living in government-subsidised rental flats, and facing multiple stressors in their families.

Delivery of the course is being conducted by experienced Aidha mentors Romi Chia, Sarah Datta and Tina Hashim. “After working with Aidha for some time, it was challenging for us at first to adjust to a new way of class management and interaction,” says Sarah Datta, one of the course mentors for the Power Fund project. “The goals and backgrounds of these women are different to those we mentor at Aidha, so we have to be careful to conduct the sessions in the most impactful way for this group”.

The class participants (around 12 women) are mostly local women and, in contrast to Aidha students, many of them have their children living with them in Singapore, so many face the challenge of trying to manage family schedules with their individual goals – which often involves securing or moving to a new job.

However, much like Aidha, one of the most critical outcomes of the sessions is the boost in self-confidence. “After the first few sessions, it was so rewarding for us to see these women build a clearer picture of what they want their futures to be – and greater confidence in believing they can achieve it,” says Sarah.

At this point, around halfway through the 10-month course, it is safe to say that two heads are better than one – with the collaboration between Aidha and DOT already facilitating a real change in lives!

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