Aseel moved her fingers back and forth to mimic to the movement of scissors. “I like the hair cutting. When I started I was really not good but now I am very good,” she shared with a confident grin. Aseel had just finished a session at CRP’s Beauty School, where she continues to perfect her hair trimming technique. Soon she will move onto coloring, styling, and massaging.
CRP’s Women’ Beauty School meets twice a week and offers instruction in salon skills such as cutting hair, doing nails, and applying makeup. At the end of the course, each woman receives a salon kit full of the necessary tools to continue practicing at home. Equipped with an ample skill set and new set of supplies, women who finish Beauty School are able to bypass the financial expenses that personal care otherwise entails. They are also in a position to serve their communities, as hair and makeup services are always in high demand during celebrations such as weddings and holidays.
Shahad participates in Beauty School with Aseel, both of whom came from Syria to Amman about three years ago. Shahad underlined the empowerment that comes from learning new skills that could potentially provide a livelihood. “There are many activities here. It’s not just the salon that you see, the program is so good for us because I will be so professional,” she said. “When I graduate from this course I will use my certificate and open my own shop. Then many people will come to me and I will earn real money.”
While Shahad and Aseel mutually affirmed their passion for learning salon skills, they both expressed longing for more. “There are so many programs here,” Shahad emphasized. “We have beauty, and massage. But we wish there was a cooking program, to teach us how to cook. At home, families cook together!”
We’ve heard this from many of our female beneficiaries. CRP is currently looking for a grant to fund a cooking class and collective, similar to our craft collective, Hope Workshop.
Shahad’s mention of togetherness highlights a central aim of all of CRP’s programs: to provide a space for individuals to socialize with one another. For many refugee women, there are few such opportunities to gather and make friends. Shahad and Aseel have been able to build a lively social group at Beauty School. They now often come to CRP well before the class begins to share conversation and laughter.
Aseel’s eyes lit up as she described the community at CRP. “I met very many people, and we have become close friends with each other. I like CRP because of the good service. Everyone is smiling, and it is my second home.”
Special thanks to FAWCO for supporting this program!