It has been five years since Poe Phu Thin left her home in Myanmar to work in Singapore as a migrant domestic worker (MDW). Before this, she was working as a tuition teacher teaching mathematics for five years. While she enjoyed teaching primary school students, the salary was not enough to support her family, that was when she made the decision to work in Singapore. As a tutor, education is something she is very passionate about and she tries to cultivate it through lifelong learning. “The more you read, the more you know and the more you learn, the more places you can go. There’s a lot of things you can learn online!”
Online Learning’s a Breeze
During the pandemic, Poe remained positive and kept herself busy with learning new things such as cooking via YouTube. She also enjoys watching motivational speeches to get inspired! “There’s always something new to learn,” she beamed. Her self-guided experience learning new skills online has made her transition to Aidha’s online classes easy. She started Aidha in 2019, just before the start of the pandemic.
However, in early 2020, Aidha had to put campus activities on hold and then to migrate all classes online. When we asked her how she felt about the transition, she explained, “It’s almost the same, we can see each other, we can still ask questions!” She is continuing her Module 2 course virtually with Aidha and is due to graduate this year!
Passing On the Knowledge
Poe explained how Aidha has helped her, “Before this I didn’t understand much about money management, buying insurance or having funds for emergencies. I would send all my salary to my family and don’t communicate with them on how they are spending it. But now, with the knowledge I have, I can give them the right advice to help them manage the money. It’s hard now back home but I’m grateful they are safe and I can continue to support them.”
She plans to continue till Module 3 to learn more about running a business. “I want to have my own business, maybe a pig farm. So it’s important to study first, because if you don’t know the basics of business like ROI (return on investment), if you don’t do the ground work, your business will not be successful.”
Aidha’s soft skills courses like ‘Communication and Confidence’ and ‘Communication and Leadership’ have also been very helpful for Poe to be more confident when she communicates with the people around her. She explains, “All these skills are important in our daily lives. We need to communicate with employers everyday, so we need to maintain good communication. When we go back and start a business, we need to lead our team. So leadership skills are also important so that we will be a good manager.”
Missing the Campus Life
Like everyone in the Aidha family, Poe shares that despite the ease of online classes she misses the Campus Life. “My best memory is when I’m with my classmates and I get to try different food from different countries. But it’s okay, I will wait for school to open again…”
Poe’s admirable resilience and infectious positivity show during classes when she interacts with her classmates and mentors. Her final words to us are, “My wish for Aidha… to change even more lives in the future, by teaching us useful skills.”