24 Girls Graduate Salon-Training Programs
Towards the end of last year both of Child Rescue’s salon-training programs in Cambodia celebrated graduations. 11 graduated from our home in rural Cambodia and 13 from our more urban location! Both aftercare homes held parties celebrating each graduate as the individual champion that she is.
Each student received a gift pack of salon tools and make-up to use as they start their own businesses or find a job in a salon. It was a special and meaningful day for both girls and staff. Graduates had the opportunity to share about their time with us in front of the group. Below are excerpts from five girls*. (Note – Child Rescue New Zealand is a part of the Destiny Rescue International family of organisations. )
Now that I am working I have an income and enough for expenses. When I first came here (Destiny Rescue) I cannot do anything, so I want to thank mother N. (our staff salon teacher Srey N.) who teaches me and helps me learn. I feel like the training has had a positive change in my life due to the encouragement from residential care staff. Now my salary is high enough for me to sustain myself!
The first time I come here it is difficult for me to learn and I am frustrated inside and want to give up. But the staff here encourage me to try to learn and so I follow their advice. Today I get the certificate (for completing the salon training program) so I am very excited.
When I first came to Destiny Rescue I didn’t think that I could read Khmer or learn salon skills. But now I can read in my language and I have the skills to work (in a salon). I can work and earn a wage.
The first time I came to Destiny Rescue I was happy to be here but I wanted to keep quiet about my problems. I got to know a few of the other girls here. I want to thank staff members S., Srey N., M., and my counselor for encouraging me and giving me advice. Sometimes I really wanted to speak about my problems but it was hard to do. I had to find someone that I could trust to talk with her about my problems. I want to say thank you to everyone here.
When I came to Destiny Rescue I didn’t have a friend at school and no one said nice words to me. In here (Destiny Rescue) they talked to me using nice words but sometimes I decided not to listen to them. Sometimes I used bad words and inappropriate behavior in my responses to Destiny Rescue staff, sometimes I pushed the table away and left the class in front of staff. But in the Learning Center, the Destiny Rescue staff always tried to encourage me to keep learning salon skills. The staff also gave me good advice when I had a problem. I thank God for calling me to be there and now I have the skills and can work in a salon.
(*their names have been changed to protect their identities)
These brave girls have overcome obstacles that would seem insurmountable to some. If you read closely you will see enormous victory in each of these quotes. These graduates have experienced unconditional love and encouragement. They have learned to trust and open up to others. Here they grew and they blossomed.
Srey Shannary came to us not knowing how to read or write. Not only did she tackle the task of learning the Khmer language she also learned the complex skill of hairdressing. She worked hard and applied herself even when it was difficult. Now she is no longer hindered by illiteracy. Instead she’s moving forward with valuable, employable skills, confident about her future.
We are so incredibly proud of all 24 young ladies who completed the training programs – even when it was hard – mastering salon skills as well as so much more. These lessons were not easy. Instead of giving up or backing down they pressed onward and claimed victory over their futures.