Changing Lives One Hairstyle at a Time

Changing Lives One Hairstyle at a Time

Ecologia and our partner, International Peace Initiatives (IPI), are very proud to announce that the first year of the three-year Hairdressing Skills Training Project has begun!

25 Women in Meru, Kenya, have started the remarkable journey of changing their lives by studying a Diploma in Hair and Beauty at the IPI Polytechnic. Their course started on Monday 9th September 2019 and they are due to graduate in the summer of 2020.

These women, who have had no choice but to turn to commercial sex work to support themselves and their children, are on their way to a better life because of your generosity and kindness.

Their training will provide the women with beauty and hairdressing skills so that they can break away from commercial sex work, develop a good and sustainable income, and give them the opportunity to provide and care for their families while running their beauty business at home. Their new skills will also help to earn them greater respect in the community, improved social mobility, and greater self-esteem.

In addition to these skills, they will also be taught the importance of good sexual health, knowledge which they can pass on to other women in their local communities as a way of reducing STDs and unwanted pregnancies and managing cases of HIV/Aids.

We are so excited to begin this journey with them! Thank you so much for this gift and your support for these women!”

– Dr Karambu Ringera (PhD), Founder & President, International Peace Initiatives

We wish these women all the luck in the world and look forward to seeing their progress over the next year!

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susie Kemp

Susie has 30+ experience as a creative copywriter, editor, and proofreader, starting out as a 20-year-old copywriter in the Mad Men world of early 1990s advertising in South Africa. Ever since, she’s had a love affair with creative conceptualisation, thinking outside of the box, writing to a deadline, and being thrown in the deep end!

She took an MSc in Publishing at Edinburgh Napier University as a mature student, in 2015, and continues to keep herself busy working as a copy-editor, proofreader and copywriter in book publishing, corporate communications, and publishing project management.

Apart from her love of working with independent authors, Susie has a fondness for working in the third sector and likes to use her corporate communications and marketing experience to support projects close to her heart. She has lived and worked in the Findhorn area for 25 years, and has been involved in a number of third sector projects and organisations, and family businesses.

Working at Ecologia Youth Trust helps Susie to live in integrity with her values of supporting the next generation to be the best that they can be, and she sees it as a way to give back to Mama Africa, the beloved continent on which she was born.

Ellen Shaw

Ellen joined the Ecologia team in June 2018 as Marketing and Communications Manager. Ellen has lived in Scotland for 6 years and has worked for non-profit and charitable organisations across varied fields. She currently shares her passion for helping young people through Ecologia Youth Trust and she works as a dancer and dance teacher in her spare time.

Robyn Cooper

Robyn is the Associate Director of International Projects, having previously worked within the team as a Project Development and Marketing Officer from April 2019 until May 2021. As Associate Director, Robyn is co-leading the International side of Ecologia with Founder and Director, Liza Hollingshead, bringing a new energy into Ecologia as they look towards the future of the charity.

Liza Hollingshead

Liza is the founder of Ecologia and Director of International Projects. She was born and educated in South Africa and worked there as a high school teacher. She moved to live in the Findhorn Community in 1974. She started Ecologia in 1995 after being introduced to Dmitry Morozov, the founder of Kitezh Children’s Community in Russia, and was inspired to support the community in its mission to rescue orphaned children from institutions and give them homes, families and education in a supportive environment.

This led to projects supporting disadvantaged youth and children in South East Asia and in East Africa. TRead more about Liza’s story here.