LIMERICK woman Susan Hackett is one of just two Irish hairdressers embarking on a journey to potentially change the lives of Indian children - through hairdressing.
Susan, 51, from the Ennis Road, will be leaving for Bangalore, in southern India, in November for two weeks to train teenagers from impoverished villages across India the art of hairdressing, to help increase the employment potential in the future.
Having cut her teeth in the trade for 27 years, trained her daughters the skills, and now working in Ravens Hair Salon in the Radisson hotel, she jumped at the chance to get involved in the Shaping Futures programme through the well known Schwarzkopf Professional brand, which has partnered with SOS Children’s Villages. Susan needs to raise over €2000 before she flies out to India, where she will be training up to 30 adolescents. “I am delighted to be doing this. I just want to pass on the craft that I love. It will be a daunting experience, and I’m sure I’ll learn as much for them as they do from me,” she told the Limerick Chronicle.
“They will be taught the basics in cutting, colouring, perming, straightening and blow-drying. They’re really dipping their toe into hair-dressing. When I first heard about this I thought ‘How am I going to make a difference in that time?’ But there are major salon groups in India that have gone on to then give these students apprenticeships. ”
Susan and others went to London recently to learn the specific training programme they will have to teach. This is the first time that Irish hairdressers have been involved in this project, and Susan will be flying with another hairdresser from Tullamore, Co Offaly, and they will be joined by eight hairdressers from England and two from Dubai.
SOS Children’s Villages is an independent, non-governmental, social development organisation that provides family-based care for children. More than 6000 children and young people live in 33 SOS children’s villages and 27 SOS youth facilities in India.