VU Polytechnic hairdressing and barbering educator, Jacinta Ramsay, recently returned from a life-changing experience in Indonesia as a volunteer hairdresser for Hair Aid.
Running a 5-day course through Hair Aid, Jacinta taught residents living in conditions of extreme poverty or difficult circumstances the basic skills to provide haircuts. The aim of the project is that the learned skills will be used to help start a micro business and create an income for people to support themselves and their family.
Jacinta’s journey through Indonesia was eye opening. Tasked with one of the toughest locations, the Denpasar Dump, Jacinta and her buddy started the challenge applying Vicks up their noses to help soften the Dump smell. Passing mountains of rubbish and the people picking their way through it, Jacinta was greeted with open arms from the community leaders from BaliLife at the Dump community school to begin sharing her skills.
“Slowly the trainees arrived, and we were greeted by even more big smiles, these women and children are mostly residents of the Dump with some traveling from outside as well. They were so keen with their note books and pens ready to learn the new skill of cutting hair!”
The task was not without challenge, as fire evacuations, toxic smoke all threatened the trainees’ time to complete the required haircuts before graduation.
Each morning the trainees were back, more eager to learn. With models flowing through the doors and kids running around their ankles, Jacinta and the team were successful in helping 13 of their trainees to graduate. For Jacinta, the pleasure of using her skillset to help allow the beautiful men and women she met to be self-sufficient was eye opening.
“I knew my trade was valuable as I have used my skills to make people feel and look better for 20 years, but never had I imagined how much it could change a life.”
Jacinta was fortunate enough to visit all five vastly different bases of the project, from the city locations of the Uni Warmadewa, Arms of Love Church and the Dump to the lush green Hills of Ubud’s PKP Women’s Centre and CMU Trainees’ in Wheelchairs.
“From all the faces l got to meet and people to spend time with l saw the same reflection in their eyes and that was HOPE! And we gave them the tools to make a life change. My heart is now full, and l see the world a little differently today!”