Join us for a 5 day Hair Aid International project in Manila in the Philippines.
Here's what your time with us will look like. We need you to be on the ground in Manila by the Sunday before the project begins.
For those that choose to fly in on Saturday before the project, you can either 1) complete some private travel and sightseeing or 2) come straight to the accommodation, meet the Project Leader and any other volunteers already there, and do some sightseeing or shopping in and around the city before the project begins.
No matter what day you fly in, every volunteer will be met at the airport by local drivers, bringing them to the project accommodation.
Sunday morning: we do some food shopping for the week's breakfasts and lunches, and then find a nice place for lunch. After lunch, we wait at the accommodation for everyone on the project to arrive.
Sunday afternoon: once everyone is together, the project leader will do induction/cultural training, hand out team uniforms, go over the training manual, and answer any questions you might have. Teams are formed, and resources are packed. (Volunteers are placed in teams of 2-4 and will travel to locations daily as a group).
Monday morning: we eat breakfast at the accommodation and then teams travel to the training location and begin the five-day training program. Every day a driver will take Hair Aid teams to and from the locations.
Monday morning: we teach how to use hair cutting tools, head shapes, how to section hair and how to do a straight cut. We work on live models. We usually gain models from the local community, friends or family, and even workers in local businesses. By the end of the first day, the trainees should have cut 2 – 3 straight cuts. We finish training at 4 pm each day. We take a break for lunch when it best suits the trainees.
On day 2, Tuesday we teach how to diagonal forward and backward and layers. Again, we train on live models, so that the trainees are learning to cut real live people. By Tuesday afternoon the trainees should have cut 2-3 more hair cuts.
On Wednesday: we teach graduation/bob cut.
Thursday is when we teach men’s cuts. This is a wonderful day as many people have gained great skills by now and they can confidently do 2 – 3 men’s cuts in a day!
On Friday, we demonstrate a few different styles, encouraging the learners to see what they can achieve with more practice. Then we hold a celebration party, and everyone that has completed the training, and can do the haircuts gets a personal certificate from Hair Aid. They then also get a scissor kit, with scissors, clips, comb and a cape all in a closed bag so that they have the tools to begin earning money from hair cutting.
In Manila, we work with street and slum dwellers. Our trainees are homeless or live in slum communities. They have little or no opportunity to get any form of training, not only because it is so expensive for them, but often do not have training opportunities provided for them.
We work directly in their communities, and it is a very real and raw experience to see how they live, and what they have to manage.
You will be surrounded by smiling children, crowing roosters and free-range chickens, with motorbikes zooming in and out around you, all while you were doing the training. Sometimes you get to work inside a room, sometimes outside in a basketball court, sometimes in a community hall. You’re truly experiencing what it feels like to be in a desperately poor area, and your heart will be filled by the smiles and the stories you hear from your trainees.
We also work in the drug rehabilitation centre, training men to be barbers. The centre is similar to our jails. The training that we provide here means that when the men are released, they have an opportunity to use a skill to earn honest money and not return to drugs or other criminal activity. In this location, we work closely with the Community Manager’s and the drug rehabilitation guards who are with us through the entire training.
What To Pack
Here is a suggested list of what to pack. Try to stick to 10 kilos baggage, because the rest of your luggage is usually for Hair Aid resources!
What to pack
- Casual unbranded Tshirts
- 3 x long sorts/ long skirts/harem pants
- Medicines *Letter from Doctor needed*
- Sunscreen (or buy there)
- Mossie repellent bands (or buy lotion there)
- Rubber flip flops
- Mobile phonePassport ********
- Travel documents in print ***** Socks
- Powerboard (to recharge phones)
- Chargers for mobiles / computers
- Drink bottle (or buy there)
- Rain PonchoUnbranded,
- old sandshoes
- Hat (you will get a Hair Aid hat too!)
- Casual clothes for dinner
- Baby wipes (or buy there)
- Toiletries (minimal)
Tools to pack:
We are always needing second-hand hairdressing tools.
We ask all volunteers coming on a project to ask their Hairdressing friends if they have any old scissors they would like to donate. We will then get these sharpened on-site, and use these in the training. In addition to this, we are always needing hairdressing capes. If everybody could pack 10 old capes, once again asking your networks to donate their old ones.
If anybody has old dolly heads, please bring these. These are great tools to use, and it doesn’t matter what length of hair is still left on them. We can always use dolly heads.
Water spray bottles are always needed, if you have any old ones that are no longer using your salon, please bring these. This also goes for any hair clips and combs that are no longer being used.
Other items to pack:
You will be surrounded by children at the location. The children love colouring books and pencils crayons and any drawing tools. They love balloons, they love bubble blowing toys, and they love little bracelets. If you have any young children reading books, these can be donated to the local school.
On graduation day, it is sometimes nice to give a little gift from yourself to your trainees. Do not have to do this, as they receive their scissor kit and another graduation gift from Hair Aid. However, many volunteers do like to give a small gift, and sometimes it is easier to bring these from home. This does not need to be much, a cotton bracelet, a card, a pen, a keyring, a hair clip, combs, playing cards, small mirrors, a makeup purse, lipstick or nail polish. On average you will have between 20 and 25 trainees at your location.
Project costs cover seven nights’ accommodation and all other associated costs of the project (team uniforms, airport collection and drop off, security fees, on the ground transport during the project, team project insurance, administration, community fees, translator costs, local/in-country staff expenses (transportation/uniform expenses), location inspections, government paperwork requirements, graduation celebration costs, resource purchases, COVID packs, team medical kit, tips and incidentals).
What is not included
You’ll need to book and pay for your own flights to/from airports at home town and pay for your own private medical insurance (mandatory). Medical insurance will need to include COVID plus cover.
You are responsible for paying for your individual food and drink during the project. Food/drink is usually $30 a day max.
Payment timeline: We have ‘Lay-buy’ on our web page – you can pay in full, or spread payments out over a few months. Deposits of $500 are due on sign up and are non-refundable. Final payments are due one month before the project start date.
Fly from your hometown to the country where your project is based. Saturday or Sunday prior to the project commencing: Arrive in the country where the project is based. Get collected by the Hair Aid transportation team from the airport. Get transported to the Hair Aid accommodation location.
** Meet up with the Project leader and all other volunteers. Visit the local shopping centre and purchase breakfast and lunch requirements for the week. Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant. In the afternoon, when the entire team has arrived, be allocated into your location groups. Meet the local community managers and hear from them all about the location you will be attending that week and the trainees that you will be working with.
Help sort out the resources needed for the training and pack individual project location packs ready for starting the next day. Take part in a cultural training session before reviewing the 5-day training program. Change into your official Hair Aid team uniform for a group photoshoot.
Change into casual clothes for dinner, which will be at a local restaurant. Return to the Hair Aid accommodation and prepare for your first day of training.
** Transportation from the airport to the Hair Aid accommodation location is provided for everybody on Saturday and Sunday prior to the project commencing. Volunteers that have arrived prior to Saturday, and completing private travel, will need to arrange their own transport to the Hair Aid accommodation location. The Project Leader will help you with this.
Monday Day 1
Awake, shower, and eat breakfast. Team members need to dress in the official Hair Aid team uniform. Everyone needs to be ready to depart the location by 7:30 am, with a backpack that contains; lunch, snacks, bottled water, sunscreen, mozzie repellent, personal medical kit, phone chargers, hygiene wipes, and mask.
Transport will be arranged by the project leader and will be ready to leave by 7.45 am from the accommodation. Join your other team members that are going to the same location as you, enjoy the local transportation and the views and scenery on your way to your location. At the location, you will be met by the Community Managers. They will introduce you to any local government members, and your translator. You will then be taken to the training area. You will set up all the tools and resources ready for training. Your trainees will arrive by 8 to 8:30 am.
Your Hair Aid lead volunteer will introduce the Hair Aid team to the trainees. Training will begin at approximately 9 am. There will be a lunch break to allow the trainees to attend to any family duties they may have before the afternoon session commences. At lunch, you will be offered local restaurant choices, or you can eat your own lunch that you have brought in your backpack.
Some locations provide lunch for the Hair Aid team. It is easy to arrange a small tour to be conducted through your training location during the lunch break so that you can get out and see the local area where your trainees live, work, and play. Once the afternoon session has been completed, training is finished for the day. All resources are packed up and brought back to the Hair Aid accommodation. The Hair Aid team will be transported back from the location to the hotel accommodation.
After showering and changing into casual clothes, a debrief of the entire team will commence. We will hear from all teams about what happened in their day, what experiences they had, and how the training went. You will get to his share your experiences with the entire team. After debriefing as a group, we all go out for dinner at a local restaurant, each night is a different location to provide you with new experiences. After dinner volunteers are able to enjoy some free time, either shopping, getting massages or sharing some drinks and stories with the Hair Aid team back at the accommodation.
Tuesday Day 2
Once again awake, shower, and eat breakfast. Once you are dressed in your team uniform you will gather at the taxi meeting point at the accommodation. Your transportation will be arranged and waiting for you. Once your entire team for your location is gathered, you will all be taken to the training location, enjoying the sights and sounds as you travel through the community. The training will begin at 9 am, break for lunch, and finish by 3 pm.
Your transport will be waiting for you to bring you back to the Hair Aid accommodation. After a quick break and shower, dress in casual clothes for the daily debriefing. At tonight’s debriefing, you will all be offered an opportunity to change locations the next day, or on Thursday**. This gives you an opportunity to see a different location other than your own. Once the debriefing is finished dinner options are available.
Two choices are available tonight. The first choice is attending a cooking class with a renowned local chef. You will learn how to create local dishes, and these will be eaten after the cooking session has finished. Meet and greet local chefs in this experience and learn how to cook some of the beautiful local food. This option has an additional charge which needs to be paid for. individually.
The 2nd choice is to head out to a local restaurant and enjoy some of the cultural experiences of dinner and dance.
Wednesday Day 3
today is a repeat of Tuesday, everybody will leave their accommodation by 7.45 am. Remember, half of the team will be changing locations today. Teams will travel to their accommodation in groups, ready to commence the day.
Training will begin at 9 am and finish by 3 pm. Today, instead of returning to the accommodation, the entire team will be going directly to a local orphanage, and we will be providing free haircuts for the children until 6 pm.
Teams will travel directly to the orphanage from their training location. After we finish at the orphanage, we will return to the accommodation where we will shower, change, and prepare to head out for dinner at a local restaurant.
** Changing locations gives you an opportunity to see and experience the diversity of the country and the trainees we work with. Every person will be given an opportunity to change locations once. The changes will be announced at the debriefing.
Thursday Day 4
for those that didn’t change locations yesterday, you will be going to a new location today. Begin your day with a shower, get dressed in the official team uniform, have breakfast and be prepared to leave by 7:45 am. Today is a big day at training because some of the trainees may be catching up on their haircuts to have their training cards signed off in anticipation of the graduation day tomorrow.
Your Hair Aid lead volunteer will be ensuring that every trainee has every possibility of completing all the cuts so that everyone can graduate. Before training finishes today we will need to inform the trainees of the graduation day itinerary. It is a very important day for them, dress in their finest clothes and bring their families along to witness their success.
Once training has finished today, it is straight back to the accommodation for a shower and debriefs. Tonight, we eat dinner at the accommodation. All locations will need to write out all the trainees names on their certificates ready for graduation tomorrow. In addition to this, we have graduation gift packs to be handed out and these need to be packaged and allocated to each team.
Friday Day 5
today is celebration day. We commence as we always do, by being dressed in our team uniform, eating breakfast, and getting ready to leave at 7:45 am today the training usually finishes at noon. After a quick lunch break, we set up for the graduation celebration. Every location has a Hair Aid graduation celebration cake. We decorate the area as best we can, set out the scissor kits and certificates, and await the return of the trainees after lunch. Every location will have a different graduation ceremony.
The local community managers will attend, and any government officials in the area also may attend. It is a great opportunity for photos. It is an incredibly emotional day as well. You will see the faces of your trainees, that you have trained, and the smiles and the tears show you what learning the skill of haircutting means to them. The graduation normally finishes by 3 pm, when we ask you to once again return to the accommodation. There we will begin our final debrief, and share some of the celebration stories of your trainees.
The project officially ends at 5 pm Friday. Everybody is provided accommodation on Friday night, however, some volunteers need to fly out Friday, and so we begin our farewells. Some people leave the accommodation on Friday night and travel to another location, to do a couple of days private travel, before returning to their home country.
For these people, we will also say farewell. Some people will stay the Friday night and leave the accommodation to either do some private travel, or return to the airport to fly home. Everyone who is leaving directly from the accommodation to the airport will be provided transportation. For those that are ongoing to their own private travels, personal transportation needs to be arranged by you. Your project Leader can help you with this.
Those that are staying Friday night will head out for celebrations at a local restaurant and then afterwards at some evening entertainment venues.
for those that are still at the accommodation, anyone returning directly to the airport for their flight home your transportation will be arranged for you.
For those moving on for some private travel, we will farewell you at this point. The Project Leader will leave mid-morning Saturday for their own flight home.
Monday Day 1
Tuesday Day 2
Wednesday Day 3
Thursday Day 4
Friday Day 5
FAQs International Project
What does the week on the project look like?
For those that fly in on the Saturday before the project you can either do; some private travel and sightseeing or come straight to the accommodation, meet the Project Leader and any others already there, or do some sightseeing in and around the city. Sunday morning we do some food shopping for breakfasts and lunches, and then find lunch. After lunch we wait at the accommodation for everyone that is still flying in. Sunday afternoon, once everyone is together, the project leader will do induction/cultural training, hand out team uniforms, go over the training manual, and answer any questions you might have. Teams are formed, and resources are packed. (Volunteers are placed in teams of 2-4 and will travel to locations daily as a group). Monday morning, we eat breakfast at the accommodation and then teams travel to the training location and begin the five day training program. Every day a driver will take Hair Aid teams to and from the locations. Monday morning we teach how to use hair cutting tools, head shapes, how to section hair and how to do a straight cut. We work on live models. We usually gain models from the local community, friends or family, and even workers in local businesses. By the end of the first day, the trainees should have cut 2 – 3 straight cuts. We finish training at 4pm each day. We take a break for lunch when it suits the trainees. On day 2, Tuesday, we teach how to diagonal forward and backward and layers. Again, we train on live models, so that the trainees are learning on real live people. By Tuesday afternoon the trainees should have cut 2-3 more hair cuts. On Wednesday we teach graduation/bob cut. Thursday is when we teach men’s cuts. This is a wonderful day as many people have gained great skills by now and they can confidently do 2 – 3 men’s cuts in a day! On Friday we demonstrate a few different styles, encouraging the learners to see what they can achieve with more practice. Then we hold a celebration party, and everyone that has completed the training, and can do the haircuts gets a personal certificate from Hair Aid. They then also get a scissor kit, with scissors, clips, comb and a cape all in a closed bag so that they have the tools to begin earning money from hair cutting
Where is the training held?
Training locations can be anything from a church hall, a park, inside a slum community, under a tarp strung out between trees, on the side of a road, or in an air conditioned room. Locations are located within a taxi drive of 30 - 40mins from our accommodation. Volunteers will be in teams of 2-4 and will travel to locations daily as a group.
Are the communities safe where we train?
We do not train in unsafe locations. We work with local government and management before partnering with organisations to maximum the safety of the entire team. Local community managers will be at the locations providing support and translation help. The Project Leader will visit your site during the project as well.
What type of accommodation does the team stay at?
The entire team stays together at one location. Accommodation is not 5 star, and varies from country to country. All accommodations are safe and secure, have their own bathroom and have security. Rooms are shared. If you want your own room an additional charge will need to be paid by you.
Who comes along to projects?
Volunteer hairdressers/ barbers and beauticians and supporters, all come together to teach people living in critical poverty how to cut hair and do manicure/pedicures.
I’m not a qualified hairdresser yet, can I come?
YES! Everyone is welcome, emerging stylists will be paired with qualified hair stylists and you will be well looked after .
Can non-hairdressers come along?
Yes! They will be allocated to a team, your team if you like, and they will have lots of jobs to do! We need lots of hands on deck to make the projects work.
$AUD1,800 (USD $1,300 approx) plus flights. Cambodia Induction is $2500
What does the cost cover?
The $AUD1,800 ($USD1,300) cost covers seven nights accommodation (Saturday night before the project so you are there for the Sunday start date), tool/resource purchases, freight to get tools to the country we are working in, the entire week’s ground transport, project insurance, your team tshirt & cap/hat, administration and logistics costs (project facilitation and management, project transportation, translators, hall hire, graduation certificates, celebration cakes, location costs, etc).Volunteers pay their own flights, and personal medical insurance. Food and drink are also the responsibility of the individual volunteer
What is included:
Seven nights accommodation (starting Sunday night before the project, resource purchases, ground transport, project insurance, team tshirt & cap/hat, administration and logistics costs (project facilitation and management, project transportation, translators, graduation certificates, celebration cakes, location costs, hall hire, etc).
What is not covered:
Flights, personal medical insurance (must have), food, drink/s, personal items, travel to/from airports at home town.
Payment timeline: We have ‘Laybuy’ on our webpage – you can pay in full, or spread payments out over a few months. Deposits of $500 are due on sign up, and are non-refundable. Final payments are due one month before the project start date
Can I Fundraise to cover the costs?
Yes! Hair Aid Inc. is a registered charity with tax deductible status. Fundraising activities can be conducted to raise the costs of the project. All types of fundraising can occur from crowdfunding, to wine and cheese nights, to raffles/Tricky Trays.
What do we wear on the projects?
We wear our team tshirts and long cotton harem style pants during training. We wear out Hair Aid cats or hats. It is culturally unacceptable to show shoulders, midriffs, cleavage, or too much booty so no low cut clothes, or leggings allowed. It’s also a makeup and jewellery free week for volunteers. Excess jewels and bling can make volunteers a victim of crime and also full makeup, nails, etc can be intimidating to learners. For these reasons you are asked to remove jewellery (plain wedding bands are fine) and makeup for the week. At night, after the training is completed, normal casual wear is acceptable but please remember that showing shoulders, midriffs, cleavage, or too much booty highlights you to the immediate community and can cause problems for the team in general, particularly if the team heads out as a group at night. Your Project Leader has a big job keeping everyone safe, so we ask volunteers to be considerate with their dress and help lessen any likelihood of danger to yourself or the team by following this requirement.
Why no makeup?
You are asked to wear no makeup during the project. We ask that you only wear very, very soft tone/colour pink natural or nude nail polish. There’s a couple of reasons ask this. Firstly it’s not needed, secondly we'd rather trainees focusing on the training as we have limited time to achieve what we need to achieve. Also it’s incredibly intimidating for them to have someone come in made up with eyeshadow, lashes, mascara, lipstick, blush etc etc. The feedback that we have is that they feel that they can’t approach trainers when they look like that, so it’s a week free of make up! You are more than welcome of course to wear tinted moisturiser with sunscreen in it.
Do I need immunisations?
Only your Doctor can give you medical advice. Please consult your Doctor regarding immunisation advice. We travel to areas where many tourists visit every year, so there is much information available regarding immunisation requirements.
I’ve not travelled much before. Will someone pick me up from the airport?
Yes, airport collections can be arranged.
When I land do I need to take a cab to the hotel or will I be picked up?
You will be picked up from the airport and driven to the accommodation. Once we know everyone’s flight details we will book the airport collection.
Is there any extra precautions I need to take?
During the day you’ll need to ensure you’ve got both sunscreen and mosquito insect repellent on. Some location you’ll be walking through communities that may not be much shade, and while you do have your Hair Aid cap/hat, it’s best to have sunscreen on as well for added protection. Insect and mosquito repellent is your perfume of choice for the week! You apply in the morning, at lunch, after you’ve had a shower at night, before you go out to dinner. You’ll also be issued with mosquito coils to place in your bathroom at night to ensure no 🦟 get into your room.
Is the water safe to drink?
We always drink bottled water when we are on a project, no matter what country we are in. We suggest you purchase a 5 L bottle of filtered water and decant that into a smaller drinking bottle for the week. Your use this water for coffee, tea, cleaning your teeth and taking with you to drink on project locations.
Can I extend my flights and do some personal travel before or after the project?
How much spending money do I need?
Tricky question! You will need food money for lunch and dinner. On average dinner is $6 - $10, with beer. You will need money to buy drinks, bottled water and snacks. Internet, SIM cards are all available at the airport and are your own responsibility. If you buy ‘extras’, such as clothes, makeup at the Mall, only you will know what you’d spend there!
Is it best to take ATM cards over there or cash?
I have used ATM machines when I travel since 2010 and I’ve personally never had a problem. In all the projects that we’ve had I can count on one hand the number of volunteers that have had trouble with drawing on their cards. That’s not to say someone will have trouble from time to time. What we suggest is that you take over $100 worth of your own currency, converted into peso so you’ve got that on you as you fly in. As soon as you land at the airport, withdraw some money from the ATM. If there is an issue with someone’s card, and you absolutely can’t get cash out the project leader will loan some money for what you need for the week and It will be sorted out later.
Internet and local SIM cards, are these available?
Internet, SIM cards are all available at the airport and it is recommended you get your phone changed over when you land so you have immediate internet connection as you are traveling with the driver to the accommodation. Costs for this are your own responsibility.
Is it ok to take prescription medicines with me?
If you are travelling with prescription medicines you will need to do one of two things. Either get a letter from your doctor saying that you need the prescription medicines and you keep that with you and your other travel documents. Or, actually take your prescription that your doctor has provided, as proof of the medicines belonging to you for health reasons. It is generally a rule when you travel to any country in the world that you carry authorisation for prescription medicines.
Do we take our own scissors/tools?
No. We use the tools we gift the trainees - that way you get to check all the kits and make sure all tools are good to use - ALSO your tools are safe at home and not at risk of theft.