When the going gets tough, says Nur Ardillah Binte Omar, the tough gets going and going. Although not able to find a full-time job after completing her N levels, this mother of one chose to stay positive. Six months ago, she joined Daughters Of Tomorrow as a programmes & outreach coordinator with its Job Readiness Programme team.

“It wasn’t easy at first but I decided to live fully in the present,” says Ardillah. “So I told myself to be aware of what’s happening around me and learn from others’ experiences.”

The 23-year-old, who grew up in “an unsupportive environment”, is determined to help other women understand that they can do well in life and “are not failures”.  

Founded in 2014, Daughters Of Tomorrow has supported more than 1,100 women in Singapore towards financial independence and social mobility. 

Among the strategies Daughters Of Tomorrow (DOT) employs to empower women and enable their families include the Confidence Curriculum. Ardillah, who participated in this programme while she was searching for a job, helps to plan and execute its calendar of activities.   

“The primary objective of Confidence Curriculum is to restore confidence in beneficiaries before connecting them to employment opportunities,” she says. “By equipping them with skills and training, participants can rediscover their talents and begin to open their minds to new possibilities.”

Nur Ardillah Binte Omar, a programmes & outreach coordinator at Daughters Of Tomorrow, attended the Confidence Curriculum as a job-seeker herself.

These women come from families that earn between $200 and $650 per month, and struggle to break out of unemployment and poverty. According to MSF Comcare as well as DOT’s estimation from more than 60 social service centres’ capacities, more than 25,000 families in Singapore struggle to find and sustain a livelihood. At least 27 per cent of people with an annual income of $20,000 or less have mental wellness issues such as depression and anxiety.   

By connecting them to volunteers and community resources, DOT further improves job opportunities for these women, hence empowering them to achieve financial independence and fulfil their potential.  

Meanwhile, is there anything that others can do to help? Ardillah shares with a smile: “Visit our website to learn about our activities. And get in touch to find out more.”  

Why did you decide to join Daughters Of Tomorrow?

After completing my N levels, I tried to look for a full-time job as I have a young daughter to support. This year, I was recommended to Daughters Of Tomorrow. Here, I worked with Ms Suhailah Arip, the senior executive of Community Development & Operation. Six months ago, when she offered me a role in the Job Readiness Programme, I said yes!

What are your key responsibilities as a programmes & outreach coordinator?   

I’m part of the Job Readiness Programme team that plans and executes the calendar of activities. We help to reach out to women and encourage them to enrol in these workshops, which equip them with skills such as financial and IT literacy. It enables these women to return to the workforce with greater confidence. I also support on-site operations, ranging from classroom set-up to registration as well as preparation of materials.  

You singled out the Daughters Of Tomorrow Confidence Curriculum graduation ceremony as a memorable moment in your career. Tell us more.       

The Confidence Curriculum comprises workshops that teach women personal discovery, communication skills, and professional coaching. I, too, have attended it while searching for a job. And every graduation ceremony I attend reminds me of my own, especially of the laughter and tears I shared with my friends from the course.     

Daughters Of Tomorrow empowers women and enables families. How have your own experiences in life helped you work better with other mothers? 

I went through hard times when I was growing up. So I know it’s crucial for a woman to become independent. I totally understand the situation many of our beneficiaries struggle with.

For example, many cannot go out to work because there’s no one at home to take care of their children. My daughter is only 3 years old so she’s very clingy. I feel fortunate that I get flexible hours and can work from home. I’m also allowed to bring my daughter to work. Knowing that I can attend to her quickly gives me greater peace of mind, and I can focus better on my tasks.

That’s why I cherish my work at Daughters Of Tomorrow. And I want to do my best to help other mothers achieve independence and confidence in life.   

Finally, what life lesson do you want to impart to your daughter?

I want to her to learn to help others in need. It will go a long way to positively impact their lives.

You can help to empower women and enable families through various programmes: Befriender, Volunteer Childminder, Supportive Employer, Poverty Sensitisation Workshops, Corporate Social Responsibility, and Donation/Fundraising. Find out more about these opportunities at Daughters Of Tomorrow here.

Photography: Studio Aeonz
Set Styling and Creative Direction: BDVA
Clothing and Accessories: Interviewee’s own
Makeup and Hair: Fifty Shades Makeup Academy
Products: COTY Inc.