HAIR Event salon owner Andrea Pope will travel to the Philippines to teach Manila’s poorest community members livelihood skills.
Teaming up with Hair Aid, Ms Pope said she expected the experience to be a rewarding one.
“I have the skills and the knowledge to pass on to someone who desperately needs a skill to make a living,” she said.
“We are travelling to the poorest of poor in Manila and this is a chance for us to make someone’s life better.”
Ms Pope said Hair Aid’s Livelihood Empowerment Program offered the disadvantaged free training on hair cutting skills across five days.
“In these types of places, people tend to throw money at them or build them a house – but no one teaches them how to make a living,” she said.
“I want to be able to teach someone a valuable skill that can help them make an income and support themselves and their families.
“I am sure I will get just as much from participating as the students.”
Ms Pope said she was planning fundraisers to make people aware of the cause.
She said a raffle was underway at the Hair Event salon at Horsham Plaza with hair products worth $500 up for grabs.
“All the money I raise provides the students with a tool kit, which includes scissors, combs, brushes, capes and other general hair cutting tools,” she said.
“It means that as soon as they finish training they will have both the skills and the tools to get started.”
Ms Pope said she wanted to be involved in Hair Aid’s Livelihood Empowerment Program for a long time.
“It wasn’t until I heard from another hairdresser from Ballarat who said it was such as good experience that I made sure I was on board for the next one,” she said.
“They do it twice a year in Manila and I didn’t want to miss out this time because it is such a great opportunity to give back.”
Ms Pope said she encouraged all hairdressers to get involved.
“We already have one hairdresser from Hair Event salon wanting to have a go next year,” she said.
Ms Pope will travel to Manila on January 7 with other qualified hairdressing volunteers to pass on her knowledge.
Hair Aid is a not-for-profit organisation set up to give homeless and economically disadvantaged individuals a hand-up to achieve and maintain self-sufficiency.
Ms Pope said Hair Aid was a fantastic organisation that made a difference to underprivileged communities.
The organisation works with the poorest community members to teach them livelihood skills that allowed them to earn money to feed, clothe and house themselves and their children.
“They originally taught sewing to the participants, but they asked the community what else they would like to learn and hair skills was the one thing they mentioned,” she said.
Hair Aid evolved since 2010 and introduced knife, scissor and tool sharpening training as well as a professional resume for all participants.
The free program has expanded to other countries including Indonesia and Thailand.