Sarah Glover, the director of the charity, Born to be Beautiful, attended the CCR Expo on Saturday 11 October to present Aesthetic Source with a photograph, representing the work of the Charity, as a token of its gratitude for the ongoing support provided by Aesthetic Source in the past year. Born to be Beautiful is a registered charity providing beauty therapy training and skills to victims of abject poverty and modern day slavery, restoring dignity and hope to lives devastated by exploitation.
Handing the photograph to Lorna Bowes, director at Aesthetic Source, Sarah said ‘This photograph is not only a gesture of our thanks for all the support we have received from Aesthetic Source; more importantly it is intended to act as a reminder of the big difference its support makes to the Born to be Beautiful charity and the positive effect it has on our work to help women in India and Africa escape poverty and the perils of human trafficking. Being a small Charity we are totally reliant on our sponsors and it is wonderful that Aesthetic Source is able to continue to help us. We welcome support in all its forms be it training materials, uniforms or runners who take part in events to raise money on our behalf.’
Lorna Bowes said ‘Aesthetic Source embraces its association with Born to be Beautiful because in the busy, flourishing aesthetics industry it keeps us grounded. This photograph is a very poignant reminder of the difference our support can make in providing vital skills and training to women giving them the means to escape poverty and prostitution by setting up their own beauty businesses. It means they can carve out and build new and better lives for themselves and their families.’
The Born to be Beautiful charity was set up in 2011 by Sarah Glover, following a trip to observe the work of another charity, Vision Rescue, which, as part of its work set up safe houses to alleviate human trafficking. Sarah was moved by the very young girls who had been sold onto the streets and brothels by their parents to make money so they could feed their other children. Talking to the charity organisers it transpired that if the girls had a training they could support themselves and their families without having to resort to selling their bodies for sex as a living. So Sarah set about establishing a Charity to provide beauty therapy skills and training.
The first Born to be Beautiful beauty therapy course was in Mumbai and attended by 20 girls, instructed via an interpreter, with materials and resources as a result of an intense fundraising campaign. Now Born to be Beautiful is running projects in Africa as well as India. Sarah says ‘Once the girls have passed their assessments they can begin earning money straight away. We provide each successful student with a starter kit to perform between 30 and 50 manicures or pedicures, a brand new donated uniform and a certificate. The reward is seeing those women begin to use the new hope, courage and self-esteem they have acquired after doing our courses. A young woman, who is able to lift her head, look me in the eye and tell me what she thinks, is our greatest success.’
The Charity has now started a big fundraising drive to provide accredited courses in its own self-sustaining beauty salons and training schools in countries where girls have been unable to access education because of the circumstances of their birth; whether they are from slums, HIV+, the under class, or ex-child soldiers.
In terms of present day challenges, Sarah says ‘Our latest problem is not being able to travel to Sierra Leone. We had been booked in to help with the Nehemiah project and train some of their students, most of whom are ex-child soldiers. The country is being devastated by the current Ebola crisis. Charities that were working with local communities to re-build the country have left and the citizens are under curfew for much of the time. New fears are ruling the country and distrust of friends and neighbours is rife. But our overall ambition remains; to provide our own training schools and beauty salons in our projects in India an Africa where we can gain access. Once Sierra Leone is stable again we will go there.’