A hairdressing and business skills initiative to empower
the young women of the Sri Lankan Tea Estates
We love what the Tea Leaf Trust is doing and want to add a new angle to their vocational training, and the trust is very keen to partner with us. Their centre is based in a hugely popular place for wedding ceremonies for the local people, but there are no hair and beauty salons in the locality and ‘mobile’ businesses are unheard of! We strongly feel that the Heir Foundation can support and extend the training the Tea Leaf Trust gives young women - and who, in turn, will be able provide new business services in the area. By providing business, entrepreneurship, and hair and beauty training, these girls will be empowered to start their own businesses, in their own communities. We’re also hoping to open a salon in the town with apprentices from our programme. We are really excited about the possibilities!”
Apart from back breaking tea leaf picking, there is not much else to do. So we want to offer an alternative.
After meeting with the Tea Leaf Trust, a UK registered charity which works with disadvantaged youth from the poorest tea plantations in Sri Lanka, Maresce went to see for herself to determine whether her foundation could provide relevant skills to empower the young women of these tea estates.
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Customers who want cutting edge hair, and wish to support youth on the fringe of society, can now do both at Heir Generation.
From its outset, Heir Generation has been supporting disadvantaged young women in the UK, helping them to get ahead by providing both hair and business skill education through apprenticeships in the salon.
Heir Foundation, the charitable division of Heir Generation, aims to extend this initiative by reaching out to disadvantaged women on a global level. The vision of Heir Foundation is to provide vocational and business skills development to young women from impoverished backgrounds - to turn them into confident individuals who are independent and valued in their own communities.
Maresce explains: “The Tea Leaf Trust works with young people on the tea estates to provide them with an opportunity to develop skills which will help them and their families escape poverty and improve their position in the Sri Lankan social structure. I am passionate about the work they do. Tea pickers (mainly women), and their families, are the bottom strata of Sri Lankan society and are viewed with contempt, despite providing Sri Lanka’s main export - tea. The Tea Leaf Trust works on a variety of levels to provide key skills that enable young people to find work away from tea estates but, for a variety of reasons, many girls cannot leave their communities.