In August 2018, our members Kerrie and Mia from KLG the Salon packed their bags and flew from NSW to Cambodia to teach at a Hair Aid International Project. Here they were met by 19 other hair stylists, including salon owner and TV personality Tabatha Coffey. This volunteer project brings together qualified hairdressers to help those in critical poverty by teaching them basic haircutting skills. Every day for five days the students learn one new haircut, giving them five basic haircuts with which they can offer haircutting services and earn an income to feed their family and afford an education.
Mia and Kerrie both have a passion for hairdressing and helping others in need, so this chance to combine the two was an unmissable call to action. Their work began much before they even stepped into an airport, to prepare for Hair Aid they organised numerous fundraising events – and their community rallied around them. People came from near and far to give what they could, joining them for a barbeque and trivia night, donating prizes to be raffled off and their loyal customers joined in by playing games around their appointments.
Once their fundraising was over they were ready for the road ahead, or so they thought! Kerrie and Mia say the experience they had in Cambodia was life changing, “I think the Cambodian trainees taught me far more than I did them,” Kerrie reflects. “Nothing can prepare you for what you will see and feel. I was sceptical at first, wondering how we could teach so much in so little time.” But their worries soon turned to wonder when they saw how enthusiastic their students were. “Never in my life have I seen such eager learning, hard work and dedication. Even the children sat still for hours, in the heat, with hair all over them whilst their mothers, aunts, sisters and brothers practiced their new hair cutting skills on them!”
The bonds and relationships they made on that trip are ones that will have an impact on them forever. Mia says her favourite moment was one that would stick with her for life, “Watching the boys I taught graduate was the most memorable moment. I was so proud of them.”
Kerrie agrees with her, “Our wonderful translator took us on a tour of the local community in the Cambodian Children’s Fund housing, and when we walked in one of our trainees was already set up cutting hair in front of her little house,” she says, “It was then I truly realised the impact we had. This new skill is life changing for them.”
Giving back to the community and world around us is a huge part of sustainability, so here at Sustainable Salons we are constantly in admiration of our members and what they do for others. Are you ready to give back too?
Learn more about Hair Aid here.
Register to get updates about volunteering with Sustainable salons here.
Sustainable Salons Australia provides the most comprehensive waste free systems to the professional hairdressing industry. We collect and recycle 95% of a salon’s waste and reward the salon for their recycling efforts!
Contact us here if you’d like to become a member of Sustainable Salons Australia.