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Youths to benefit

Felix Chaudhary
Thursday, October 12, 2017

AUSTRALIAN hairstylist Dani Haddad has been a frequent visitor to Outrigger Fiji Beach Resort.

And while time out from her hectic lifestyle has been the main reason for her holidays at the Korotogo property, Ms Haddad has found another reason to spend time at Outrigger Fiji.

The hairstylist has founded EmpowHAIR, a not-for-profit organisation designed to teach underprivileged young Fijians hairdressing skills and to assist them in finding long-term employment.

With Outrigger Fiji Beach Resort, EmpowHAIR recently announced a competition called The Cutting Edge Project.

"A hairdressing course in Fiji costs over $14,000 which is beyond the realms of affordability for many young adults in the villages so we are planning a competition which will allow the winner to undertake a training course to become a qualified hairdresser at Fiji National University," Ms Haddad said.

She added that The Cutting-Edge Project would involve two key Outrigger managers who would select 10 young adults per village from three villages located on the coast near the resort.

"The selection criteria will include fluency in English, presentation, hygiene and the ability to demonstrate an ambition to become a hairdresser."

In January 2018, Ms Haddad will revisit Fiji to test the skills of all 30 participants and choose 12 finalists.

"This test will include scissor manipulation, sectioning techniques, brush and blow dryer co-ordination and basic cut structure."

The 12 finalists — four from each village — will receive hair cutting kits and be trained by Ms Haddad to enable them to undertake basic haircutting in their villages and earn a living.

Six months later, she will return to Fiji and hold a Master Hair Cutting Competition with the winner to receive a scholarship to undertake a hairdressing training course at Fiji National University paid by funds raised through EmpowHAIR.

The winner will also be given work experience at Outrigger Fiji Beach Resort.

Resort general manager Peter Hopgood said the initiative provided a wonderful opportunity for young people in the provinces of Nadroga and Navosa.

"This is what my team at Outrigger are all about.

"We look for opportunities to support the people in our province," he said.

"We thank Dani for providing her time and expertise to support this project.

"This will be life changing for these young people."

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