Most Aidha students and alumnae will recognise Ting Claravall as the energetic emcee at our graduation ceremonies and events (both virtual and in-person!). But did you know that Ting has been with Aidha since the early years? A long-time volunteer who started in 2009, one of her first volunteering projects was producing Aidha’s first-ever graduation video! Ting was instrumental in spreading the word about Aidha, helping to grow our Facebook page and newsletter, together with the Aidha team back then. Ever since, she has played an active role in the Aidha community – as a mentor and also as an emcee for Aidha events and graduation ceremonies.
She found out about Aidha through one of Aidha’s co-founders back in 2006 and what attracted her most was Aidha’s mission. She says, “I’m a big believer in Aidha’s mission where financial literacy and education are the keys to poverty alleviation. Aidha is giving the skills and tools for our students to be financially independent to be able to go after opportunities without always worrying about how to pay for basic necessities like mortgages, food, tuition.”
Ting adds that poverty is one of the biggest issues globally and it is the root cause of other concerning matters. “One problem I would like to solve in the world is poverty, and that problem is hurting mankind right now. For example, if there’s no poverty, people don’t need to over-fish. It’s all related.”
In all the years she’s been with Aidha she has been active in Aidha’s events and when asked what’s her favourite memory, she shared, “Project Makan – an initiative for students to practice running a cafe… There are home-cooked dishes served by students of different nationalities. Other students handled the marketing and cashier [duties]. It’s such a good hands-on way for students to learn! It was a good space to chat and mingle with other volunteers and also students.”
From the early classes in a smaller space back in Nassim Road to having more than 18 classrooms at the UWC Dover campus, Ting has seen it all! She continues, “Another favourite memory is each time my students express their happiness, seeing how much they have learned and grown, and watching them using what they’ve learned. It’s a very fulfilling feeling. I also receive cards from my students and it’s so sweet!”
Her students from Module 1 have commented that Ting always brings such positive energy to the class. “Mentor Ting is very nice and she makes us all very happy in class!”
She leaves us with her wish for Aidha, “I hope Aidha continues to get the support it needs from benefactors, volunteers, and other stakeholders so that it keeps growing the reach of its mission… so many women are counting on us!”
Thank you, Ting, for being a dedicated supporter and lifelong friend of Aidha!