Hey I am Dorien and I’m so grateful I have been a part of this awesome mission in Nepal. Sharing my craft with these women was a real fun way of empowering them into professional hairdressers.
Here is my story.
Being picked to join the HWB team “I was so excited!” But… coming closer to the date of leaving to Surkhet, I got quite nervous. This was going to be my first teaching experience and what a challenge. What about a cultural clash, between girls that all want the longest hair imaginable and I, who cuts punk haircuts? How I can inspire them and what about the language barrier?
But straight after arriving to Surkhet everything fell into place so smoothly. While pushing all the boxes of gear from our sponsors into the tuk tuk (a couple of tuk tuk’s actually), I knew this was going to be so much fun! Actually it was way more than just fun! The language barrier led to hilarious situations of acting out how not to cut (think charade) and cutting bangs turned out to be super original in Surkhet. We were spreading inspiration, techniques and sharing our knowledge. All of this went so smoothly, Thanks to the great management.
The energy in the classroom was great. Our trainees were selected by the strong women who run the Kopila Valley Women’s centre. These students were incredibly motivated to make the most of these two weeks. After lunch they wouldn’t rest, but run back inside to practice again. Also they showed up on time for two weeks straight (this was unprecedented and amazed the coordinator of the Women’s centre). It was such a stimulating group of students to work with!
I have witnessed that this vocational training had real valuable impact of all of the students lives. It is bigger than just education. Because with skills comes self-esteem. This is the most rewarding thing I’ve seen happening within our students in the two weeks we have spend together. They were having so much fun learning and at the same time they were growing a lot of confidence in their new craft. They became more independent and this will support them to build a safe livelihood for their families; That’s what makes the difference in the world to be.
Women are part of society, but in the rural and agricultural country Nepal is, they often don’t have the means to be financially self-supporting.
I have never felt like giving up my career in human rights as I do now, because I really was able to empower and connect strongly with these women. This was the most beautiful adventure and I feel it has not ended yet! HWB team will proudly keep coaching them to become Surkhet’s most skilled hairdressers.
I want to give a big thanks to Sharmila, Rosna, Kelly and Maggy of the Women’s centre for facilitating and making us feel so welcome!
To our students for inspiring me with their motivation and strength. Nothing but respect for them for making this opportunity reality!
And the HWB-team, who made this mission so much fun and success.