Phil Thompson and Zac Fennell, partners at BA1 Hair on Bartlett Street, have teamed up with the Indian operation of UK charity Oasis, and recently travelled to Mumbai to visit the Mumbai Hair project which provides life skills to women who have been trafficked for sex.
“We have designed a hair styling and cutting course, which is practical and hopefully inspiring and provides a way out for the girls from the red-light district,” says Phil.
After two days of hair cutting and styling training during their visit, Phil and Zac attended a graduation ceremony and presented the women who had recently completed the course with certificates, scissors provided by Akito Scissors and Aveda hair products.
Typically trafficked as young girls, these women are from poor, rural areas of India and are forced into prostitution in the city. By their late teens some move away from the red-light district, but they leave lacking the education and skills to secure a job.
“Our aim is to give these girls a life skill, which provides a future for them. The fact that all 26 of the girls who have graduated in the last 12 months are now in employment clearly demonstrates that they have been given that future,” says Zac.
“During the visit, I was struck by the transformation of the girls, their motivation, their enthusiasm and their spirit,” added Phil.