Happy Chandara Christmas Update – Celebrating Hairdressing Education That Transforms Lives
The Happy Chandara Vocational Training Centre in Cambodia transforms the lives of underprivileged women aged 17 to 25 by giving them free hairdressing education – and we’ve been supporting them by providing free MHD licences to tutors and students throughout 2019.
The inspirational Happy Chandara team work hard all year round to create opportunities for students. And in this season of giving and goodwill, we wanted to celebrate their achievements and spread the word about their incredibly important work. Here’s what they’ve been up to this year.
32 students celebrated graduation day on 5th October
Graduates of the Happy Chandara programme receive a state diploma – C1 or C2 – equivalent to NVQ levels 1 and 2. All 32 of last year’s graduates returned to the Happy Chandara school and salon to celebrate their graduation on 5th October 2019 – and enjoy a hair show put on by current students.
Director Charya Sam is enthusiastic about the graduation ceremony: ‘It was an amazing evening, made even more special by the fact that Happy Chandara founder Tina Kieffer flew over from Paris to be with us. Guests included professionals, Chandara Concept Salon’s clients and salon owners with whom we collaborate for students’ internship period and employment.’
And what are the graduates up to now? The vast majority – 28 of the 32 – are working in salons, and one has even opened her own salon with her older sister, another Happy Chandara graduate. The others aren’t working at the moment as they’re looking after their new born children, which is lovely news. ‘These fantastic outcomes are a testament to the success of the programme,’ says Charya.
Many current students already have job offers – and a new batch are already part of the family
The Happy Chandara training programme lasts 16 months, including a 3-month internship in a Phnom Penh or Siem Reap salon. Currently, there are 26 students on the programme. At the moment they’re out of the classroom participating in internships in Happy Chandara’s partner salons. ‘But they’ll be back in February to take their exam,’ says Charya. ‘And most of them already have a job offer from the salon where they’re doing their internship, which is a fantastic outcome.’
Charya was also excited to welcome a new batch of students at the start of November: ‘We have 19 new students, who are full of motivation and already committed to the programme and taking good care of each other.’
Students don’t just study hairdressing theory and practice. They have lessons in English, maths, ethics, computing and sales & marketing. What’s more, they benefit from free health care for themselves and their relatives. And, as shown by the latest recruits, they quickly become part of the Happy Chandara family.
2014 graduate Channy PHIN has joined the team of educators
The Happy Chandara team is delighted that Channy PHIN – who joined the training programme in 2014 – has been promoted from teaching assistant to educator.
‘Channy has also opened her very own salon, in which 3 graduated students from the programme are employed,’ says Charya.
As a tutor and salon owner, Channy is a shining example of the success of the programme – and an inspiration to current students. ‘We’re so proud of her achievement,’ enthuses Charya.
Concert pianist Miwako Fujiwara performed at Sofitel to fundraise for Happy Chandara
Finally, the whole team – students included – were excited to attend a fabulous charity concert at Sofitel in Phnom Penh on 30 November. Concert pianist (and Happy Chandara client) Miwako Fujiwara joined some other incredible musicians to present classical and contemporary numbers – with funds raised going to Happy Chandara.
Miwako says, ‘I couldn’t be happier to be performing again with Musica Felice for such an important cause. I have been working with the people from the Happy Chandara School and Phum Pleng school for many years; they are extremely good and highly motivated.’
Keep up the incredible work Happy Chandara – and Happy Christmas!
It’s both humbling and inspiring to be part of this incredible project. We want Happy Chandara to be able to continue their work of empowering young Cambodian with the skills and confidence to express their creativity, develop their business skills and change the course of their lives – with hairdressing of course!
From MHD to Happy Chandara – Happy Christmas!