10 years Anniversary

We celebrate the 10 years anniversary of Hairdressers Without Borders.

Reflecting back on all of these years it let my heart glow.
It all started in 2012 when my colleague Katrijn Calleeuw invited me to follow her dream to do some charity work in Cambodia. Together we provided for all the kids and caretakers of the NGO greengeckoproject.org/ a fresh new haircut. We were over the moon with this amazing experience and for me it was a new step to take when one of the girls was interested in becoming a hairdresser and education became the key.

In 2013 the first educational program was a fact and HWB collaborated with the NGO Empowering Lives Asia facebook.com/ELA.CIP/ in the Philippines – Manila in the area called Smokey Mountain, a large rubbish dump in the suburbs of Tondo. I got the volunteering support of Peter Sellmeijer and Shana van den Bosch and together we educated 20 men and women that were living in these extreme circumstances. That program changed everything… It felt like this was the purest form of my profession that I could reach. Teaching this powerful profession to people in need and giving them the opportunity to grow.

The two year later several programs were held in Indonesia where we collaborated with Environment Without Boundaries in Lombok. For the first time I felt that the empowerment of all of these 20 women on the island was a big milestone we had achieved. Again we paved the way for a new beginning for so many.

In 2016 @peter was back on board for a program in Nepal – Kathmandu, where we closely connected with freeagirl.com/ organisation to educate girls that have been saved from the prostitution. We felt so welcomed by the Nepalese people and got the support of our wonderful Nepalese volunteer Shandeep.
Together with this dream team we rolled out two other programs in Nepal -Surkhet in 2018 and 2019. This all with the support of the beautiful NGO blinknow.org/ where we started to educate 20 women every year and saw them growing in their knowledge of their new profession but also in their confidence ‘which makes all the difference in places like this’. In 2019 Juliette den Ouden (international Hair & Make-up Artist and owner of JDO Academy in Amsterdam jdo-academy.nl/en/home-english/) became the Ambassador of HWB and added on our hairdressing training some very professional hair styling and make-up training to all the women.

After a long break during the pandemic, we were more than excited to plan a virtual training for all our students in Nepal in December 2021. Juliette (our ambassador) and Hester Wernert (ambassador Authentic Beauty Concept) came together to create beautiful hair styling and makeup training. In addition, a new cutting technique training by myself on video and on site in Surkhet – Nepal, the training was followed by our Nepalese team and Sandeep taught a bridal hairstyle. A few well-filled days full of new inspirations.

The last project took place in Bali – Indonesia where I was able to set up a month-long project for a group of 10 women with a great team of volunteers in collaboration with Bali Wise. All with their own story and importance to follow this training to be financially independent on their own feet with a new profession in their hands.

Now that I go through the years with all those beautiful memories, it gives me such a warm feeling and I am so happy that I was able to realize this together with so many beautiful people. In total we have been able to train over more than 110 women and men, and given them a chance to stand on their own two feet and have been able to change their life situations drastically through our training.
It looks like this is just the beginning of so much more inspirational and educational programs and all of this with authenticbeautyconcept.com/en/home.html next to us as our main sponsor.

Big thanks to Peter Sellmeijer my partner in crime, to Juliette den Ouden our ambassador that shares all her love and energy for charity, our amazing team of volunteers over the years that we can’t be without: Shandeep, Do, Savitri, Bas, Alice, Maya, Shana, Fabio, Joelle, Ellen, Ruben, Marieke, Hayley, Jovo, Wayan and Wayan.

Also my deepest thanks to all the sponsors that have been there for us through all the years: davines.com/facebook.com/starsandstyle/carmen.nl/pivot-point.com/, O’right, Medusa, eu.lee.com/uk-en/home, wrangler-ap.com/nyxcosmetics.com/make-upstudio.com/en/

– Esther Nieremeijer