Riding for Aidha

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July 5, 2019 | Written by: Belinda Fowler |

It’s 4am: out of the dark, a steady stream of orange-clad cyclists starts to arrive. Despite the hour, the excitement builds. With team photos complete, they make their way to the starting line at the Sports Hub for the OCBC Cycle 2019. Team Aidha is here, and ready to ride!

Over 100 corporate partners, supporters, volunteers and students took part in Aidha’s Tour de Singapore this year, completing the 42km Sportive Ride at OCBC Cycle. First launched in 2013, the Bike Ride is an annual opportunity to gather the Aidha community to ride to raise awareness and funds for Aidha’s financial education programmes. A total of $50,636 was raised this year, thanks to the efforts of our riders, supporters and corporate partners: Barclays, Cargill, Deutsche Bank and Duff & Phelps. Our thanks in particular to Barclays for generously matching the funds raised by their riders again this year; the Barclays team has raised over $32,400 including matched funding!

Dedicated group of students and alumni riding for Aidha! 

Mabel Charmin, one of ten Aidha student riders, was excited to use her new bicycle – a birthday gift from her employer. “Having my own bicycle and joining the OCBC ride is a big opportunity for me and a dream come true” she explained. It was the first time that Ms. Charmin had attempted 42km. She was nervous beforehand, but she had a lot of fun. “I am very happy with my result. It’s given me the courage to face my fears… It’s proof that if you want to do something don’t give up. Keep trying until you succeed.” Mabel is already trying to recruit her friends to join her next year. “It’s a big chance to help my fellow helpers who want to study but can’t afford to do so,” she said.

Prerana Bhounsle (middle), a joint winner of the best individual fundraiser prize! 

The funds will be used to support more foreign domestic workers and low-income women to access Aidha’s courses and gain the skills and confidence to create a financially secure future. Joint winner of the best individual fundraiser prize, Ms. Prerana Bhounsle explains why she was motivated to support the campaign: “I’ve been a volunteer with Aidha for a long time. I’ve seen first-hand the impact Aidha has on the students, helping them to feel confident and giving them the strength to go out and chase their dreams. Aidha has built such a strong, happy, uplifting community. Ambition is contagious! Bringing these women together and giving them such a support system can only lead to good things!”

The Aidha team posing with the trophy for the Longest Distance Award from OCBC Cycle! 

It was an unexpected honour to receive for the first time the Longest Distance Award from OCBC Cycle for cycling a total of 3,402km thanks to the efforts of all the riders. “We’re very, very proud of our team,” said Jeanne Bellec, Aidha’s Marketing and Partnerships Director. “And of course, we will do our best to gather an even larger team next year and hold onto this title!”

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