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Shaping Futures

Sunday, 13 January 2013 10:52

Schwarzkopf Professional’s ‘Shaping Futures’ Ambassadors took their first journey in a year of life changing initiatives to help change the lives of deprived youngsters in Chennai, IndiaIn.

The four ambassadors - Janet Maitland and Rachelle Summerson from Janet Maitland Hair in Gilesgate, Rajinder Sethi from Barrie Stephen Hair in Leicester, and Deborah McGinty from McGinty and Blair Hair Design in Uddington were chosen earlier last year to represent the brand and trainers for Schwarzkopf Professional’s social initiative - Shaping Futures.

Now in its third year, ‘Shaping Futures’ is a wonderful annual initiative lending support, training and guidance to young people living at the SOS Children’s Village; a place to provide a safe and loving environment for vulnerable children, giving them a home in which they can thrive. This year, the team went on to support the children living in Chennai, India. The event was led by Schwarzkopf Professional offers basic hairdressing training for young people, help them taking their first step towards an independent life. Each year a team of UK volunteers went on to deliver the professional skills these young people need to make a living - literally a life changing experience for everyone involved.

Alongside the four ambassadors, were Schwarzkopf ASK Academy’s Technical team Kirsty Negus, Emily Schofield and Armando Colucci who all made a fantastic contributions in raising money for the charity.

The team spent two weeks teaching 16 women and three men in their late teens and early twenties the foundation skills of hairdressing. The group will go on to do a further four weeks training with other teams from around the globe.

Rajinder Sethi comments: “Clearly hairdressing is not thought as a ‘life or death’ job, but this experience in India showed how it can change a life in a way that I would not have believed possible - it is live saving and life enhancing beyond our knowledge here in Leicester and it was a privilege to share my skills to change someone else’s future.

And there were plenty of surprises for the team including just how clued up on fashion and styling the students were, thanks to the mass media. For some it was the first time they had ever seen or touched a hairdryer or any other styling products except hair oil but they quickly realised that their culture of creativity was a great asset in learning a creative skill like hairdressing.

The students’ plaiting and hair up skills were second to none. Our team taught them one length cuts, fringes, layering and a basic bob too. The difference in their skill set from the beginning to the end of the two weeks was phenomenal and in a place like Chennai these new skills mean earning a living immediately and therefore change their prospects and possibilities,” explains Rachelle Summerson-Wright.

Janet Maitland says: “The language barrier was initially a challenge but we quickly learned to use simple language, lots of visual instruction and diagrams and talking slowly. It was just incredible how quickly they all learned, not just the skills but the language too. That flexibility extended to the structure of our teaching day. The power always went off at four, so anything that needed extra light or a hairdryer had to be done before then. The students were so eager to learn, so accommodating and so passionate about this opportunity that we always found a way through any challenge.”

Deborah McGinty said: “The whole experience was life changing for me too. They were so kind and appreciative. In the West we have so much and we take it all for granted. In India they made me feel like a celebrity but it was really them who were the stars!

Each students who were part of the course has gone on to secure a job in hairdressing, proving that their contribution has indeed been life changing.

Schwarzkopf Professional Shaping Futures

  • Schwarzkopf - Shaping Futures

    SOS Children Village - Chennai, India

  • Schwarzkopf - Shaping Futures

    SOS Children Village - Chennai, India


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