What is the Hair Aid charity and what do they do?

“The hair aid charity is a non profit organisation that sends teams of hairdressers to Quezon City, Manila to teach them hair cutting skills. The work with the poorest of families so they can learn livelihood skills and earn money to feed, clothe and house themselves and their children. “ (Hair Aid)

The project began when the founder, Selina Tomasich, and her husband, Mark, were on a holiday in Manila and met two nuns who worked for an organisation that supported children who were in need. This is when a request to establish a sewing training centre was made. After this, the first project occurred and seventeen families were taught sewing skills at Kuya Centre. This is where a request to add hair training was made. In 2012, hair cutting training began with 40 families trained, followed by 80 in 2013 and 77 in 2015. In 2015, Kuya Collaborative was rebranded to Hair Aid, after the growth of hair training.

➔ 214 families have been helped by the Hair Aid charity, which is a significant amount of the 2.762 million people who currently live in Quezon City.

➔ Metro Manila currently has an unemployment rate of 11.6% which highlights the need for this organisation

The sentence that would best sum up the vision of the Hair Aid charity would be their own company byline; “Hair Aid - working to change lives of those less fortunate”. This sentence best sums up the vision of the charity as the purpose of the charity is to create empowerment amongst street people by providing skills in haircutting that enables them to earn a living in order to buy food, water as well as the ability to provide shelter for not only themselves but also their children.

The ongoing problem that the Hair Aid charity strives to address is the liveability and sustainability of the low-income families living in the slums of Quezon City, Manila. Hair Aid has a bold mission to help improve the lives of those impoverished and struggling to support themselves financially.

In a selfless act to help improve the lives of those in who are in need, The Hair Aid charity provides skills needed for success. The Hair Aid charity provides the education of many skills, in particular; haircutting. The dedicated supporters of the Hair Aid low-income individuals and families of Quezon City with hair cutting skills. This enables them to be able to support themselves financially, earning money when they cut their neighbors hair. This bold initiative focuses on providing skills to those less fortunate and by doing so enables empowerment and growth.

The Hair Aid charity secures funds to ensure they can continue their work by advertising their charity online to a variety of possible cause empathetics. Hair Aid is a widely successful charity organisation because they have marketed their message in a way that not only plays on people's egotistical and consumerist side but also creates a reaction in their caring, selfless and empathic side. They do this by using beauty and hair care as one of the main outlets of their business, which is undeniably an aspect of insecurity in most people and plays heavily on their want or even need to be beautiful and fit in, although this is only a primary need, once this is fulfilled most people need to look after others in order to feel as though they are a contributor to a greater good and less such self absorbed. This secondary instinct to look after others is the basis for success in this charity organisation. Hair Aid is a company that employs the homeless and teaches them a life skill, hairdressing, which allows them to gain employment and contribute to society as functioning members. The company's ability to make people relate by using beauty and insecurity as their cement, in accordance with the company's basis in charity work makes it almost irresistible for the larger, more economically advantaged and possibly social media active population, to relate to the organisation and make people feel like they want to, even have to, donate to the organisation at hand. Hair Aid is a company that mostly relies on hair and beauty companies supporting it, as this means the donating company can advertise they support charity, meaning their business does better long term. This makes the relationship between companies mutually beneficial and more viable financially. The major charity donors mostly include companies worldwide that are involved in the hair and beauty industry but also promote a charity based and world view outlook on life, including but not exclusive to;

● EverEscents Organic Hair Care

● Unity Agencies Pty Ltd

● Aussie Hair Guru

● Excellent edges scissors

● Norris Hair supplies

Hair Aid is a non-profit charity organisation that offers a variety of services for poor and homeless people on the streets of Manila. The main objective of the organisation is to support families in learning how to support themselves and so contributing to the end of dependency on help services. Hair Aid does this by enabling the poor and disadvantaged families of Manila's streets to empower themselves financially and educationally and enter the work force. The way Hair Aid does this is by sending volunteers and charity employees out on the streets and finding people who deserve a chance and aspire to lead a new life. Next they spend quality time with family members to educate them in hairdressing, english and maths skills and train them how to make money in the real world. This allows people who previously had no education or knowledge in the business world to put themselves ahead and in a disadvantaged situation and make something for themselves and their family.

More information on this charity can be found on the Hair Aid website or on the official Hair Aid facebook page. Both of these sources provide information on the charity's achievements and also ways the charity can be supported.

This article was authored by 'Students for a Cause' including M. Stoertzer, K. Jenkins, Freya R. Brown.