Hair Aid Team
“Hair Aid Inc, is an Australian Not For Profit organisation that sends teams of volunteer hairdressers to poverty stricken areas around the world, to work directly with people in need. Last week I was blessed to be part of the Hair Aid pilot project team in Indonesian.
On day one, as we drive up to our location, where we will be working all week, I’m confused by the mountains that seem to appear from the other wise flat landscape. As we draw closer they seem strangely manmade in angular blocks or terraces.

I suddenly register that these terraces are made of rubbish!  Millions and millions of plastic bags and other plastics and this was creating the mountains! This realisation and the smell hit me at the same time, and I am so confronted that I don’t have words.

We drive into the centre of Denpasar dump, where the community centre has been set up. This centre is used to look after children while their parents work in the rubbish dump; sorting trash, recycling clothing, eeking out a living.

The centre consists is a small and basic structure of one room with a partition. The gates of the centre are opened for the day and the children run in happy and excited, smiling and playing like normal children.

You would never guess that these children sleep and live in the slums with walls made of cardboard and each room having up to six family members sleeping on one mattress. There is only one shower for up to forty families. That’s one shower for 240 people!

Marginalized Areas
The conditions in which they live are beyond poverty; it is inhuman and desperate. I can’t keep the tears from my eyes as we are treated to a walk in and around their homes. All around the smell of stinking rotten food exists and the flies outnumber the people a million to one. But beyond the conditions, the flies and the smell, these people welcome us into their homes with open arms ~~  they are happy for us to walk through their homes and community, and they smile and say hello. They have very very little, yet the sense community is so strong, they share with each other and they live in harmony. I can’t help but feel that we in the first world we could learn from them.The purpose of Hair Aid is to empower people, to provide skills education and choices to work at something other than the sorting rubbish.
After a week with the program our trainees have been taken through all basic haircuts, education on how to charge for services and been provided with donated equipment for them to use. I know that on our return these ‘hairdressers’ will have set up business and be able to provide for their families.
This is why Hair Aid exists, this is why I joined the project, this is why we are together #changingtheworldonehaircutatatime””The team and the experience from this trip have changed my life for ever”

Judith McEwen

Hair Aid Teamate with Kids

What inspired you to take this journey?
Becoming a Mother 3 years ago has made me realise how blessed I am and I wanted to help others.

You empowered people and provided education to people from Indonesia, were the any challenges you had to overcome?
The major challenge was to pack the training program into 5 days.

What was the most difficult part of the experience?
The most difficult thing was being confronted with the living conditions and the poverty when we have so much.

What was the most rewarding aspect of your experience?
The speed and talent of the students and the gratitude that I was shown.

Haircut Session

What did you learn from your journey?
That technology and possessions are not the most important thing in life. The sense of community was amazing.
I realised that the world can be changed one hair cut at a time.

Do you have any last words for people that may want to partake in a similar experience?
DO IT! You become part of the Hair Aid family and make friends for life.

To be apart of the initiative Jude was in: