We want to train 46 young people in hairdressing. Our target is former street children, most are unemployed, they have no skills and their futures are bleak unless we can provide them with hope, training, and the capacity to negotiate in our increasingly complex world.
The 46 children are currently part of our counseling program, for which we provide counseling services for over 200 children covering a wide range of topics: job training, financial management, stress management, self-development/emotional development skills, decision-making skills, and conflict prevention. Through this counseling, we hope to promote a change of mentality among young people so that we can work together for lasting peace, security, and well-being of all and everyone in Burundi.
When asked what profession the children would like to pursue, hairdressing was the number choice. We selected the 46 children because hairdressing is their top choice and because based on their progress in counseling, we feel they have a good chance of being successful.
We will engage two volunteers, who are hairdressing professionals and who have already agreed to participate in this program, to train the 46 children for two months. Following the initial training, the two professionals will work more closely with the best among the trainees. They will get more in-depth, hands-on experience and based on demand, may even be given a placement in the studios of the professionals. For the professional hairdressers, this is an opportunity for them to expand their business. Regardless of being able to place the trainees, the two volunteers will continue to act as mentors.
The others-those who are not placed with the two professionals-will receive certificates showing that they completed the course. Also, we hope to source some equipment so they can start their own businesses by forming groups of two to four people and working together. We will continue to follow-up them and mentor them.
For all 46 children, we are a safety net in case they are feeling uncomfortable, having difficulties learning and adjusting, or having other issues during the course and the follow-on. We will ensure that they progress at their pace and succeed in this endeavor.
Burundi has experienced more than a decade of civil war, leaving poverty and misery under its spell. So many young people found themselves living on the street and others served as child soldiers. Our focus is to help as many of these disadvantaged youth as possible, they have no other support in our society today.
We will use this model to train additional groups of children in other professions, as future fundraising allows and as we can find professionals to work with.
Any support from anyone will be appreciated.