How local hairdresser will help women rescued from sex trade
"I REALLY want to do something with our careers and make it worthwhile".
Lazuli and Co owner Peta Tillet was attending a hairdressing conference last year with apprentice Brittney Webster when she was "instantly drawn towards" the work of charity Hair Aid.
The Australian-based charity Hair Aid works globally to make a difference and create change by teaching people living in poverty the skill of hair cutting, and Mrs Tillet said there was no hesitation to sign herself up for the program.
"I said to Brittney 'I want to do that' and while Brittney was like 'yeah right', but I signed up," she said.
Hair Aid volunteers work directly with people living on the street, or slum communities, or with women rescued from the sex trade and prostitution gangs to help give them a new start in life.
The program's volunteer hairdressers teach these participants a five-day hair cutting course, which gives the skill to cut five basic haircuts.
Hair Aid said this skill can then be used to start a microbusiness and create an income to support themselves and their families.
Mrs Tillet said her apprentice quickly signed onto the program as well, and after hearing about the duo's plans, Ms Tillet's other two employees also decided to sign on.
She said she would be shutting down her Molesworth Street salon for two weeks while the Lazuli and Co team heads off to Cambodia in February to participate in the program.
Mrs Tillet said was "looking forward to sharing my skills and to hopefully make a difference".
"I want to be able to give someone a real go to break the poverty cycle and give someone another chance to build a better life," she said.
"We're such a small community and have such a small salon, but we can do something big."
As part of the Hair Aid program, at the end of their training the participants are also given a small kit of hairdressing equipment to help them get started.
Mrs Tillet said these kits are created from second-hand hairdressing equipment, and she is encouraging other local salons to donate old or second-hand equipment to the program.
"We're looking for things such as old capes, clips, spray bottles and whatnot," she said.
"We all have these things stashed away in the cupboard that we're never going to use. We want to see them put to good use and help someone else out."
For more information or to donate goods, contact Lazuli and Co on 6622 8844.