Viet Nam News
HÀ NỘI — Phạm Thị Tầm, 30, used to think that she would never escape from poverty.
Tầm, from Hà Nội’s Quốc Oai District, lived in deprivation since she was small.
Her father has been ill for many years, leaving her mother as the family bread winner.
After graduating from high school, Tầm worked various jobs to earn a living and help her mother, from fruit seller to tailor.
“The work was hard but income was little, I felt hopeless when thinking about my future,” said Tầm.
Tầm wanted to receive vocational training and then applied for a stable job, but she couldn’t afford to enroll in a vocational school.
Things changed a little over a year ago, when Tầm heard about the programme ‘Beauty for a better life’ launched by hair care and cosmetics company L’Oreal. The programme helps young people in difficult living conditions study to be hair stylists.
“I applied for the training course and could not believe that I got in,” said Tầm.
Tầm attended a three-month training course free of charge.
Six months ago, Tầm and her younger brother opened a salon near her house. They have stable income of about VNĐ15 million (US$650) per month.
“Beginning a career at the age of 30 is quite late compared with other people, but I believe I have found my life’s passion,” said Tầm.
“For me, the training course is like a miracle that betters my family’s conditions,” she said.
Independent young people
Tầm is among more than 2,000 young people that have benefited from the programme during the past nine years.
The programme helps young people and women in difficult living conditions, such as victims of violence, abuse, human trafficking or convicts who have completed their imprisonment.
After finishing the course, the trainees are helped to apply for jobs at salons across the country.
Hoàng Thị Ái Nhiên, deputy chairwoman of the Vietnam Women’s Union, said the programme worked with the Quảng Bình Province Women’s Union to help poor women in the central provinces.
It also opened a training course in Đông Sơn Prison in the central province of Quảng Bình, with 50 female trainees.
“It’s a good occasion for them to prepare to re-integrate to the community and create better lives,” said Nhiên.
“The programme is meaningful because it gives people jobs to set up their own lives,” she said.
Nguyễn Ngọc Tuyết Trinh, director of communications and foreign affairs of the L’Oreal Vietnam Co Ltd, said the programme was launched in 2009, after Trinh read a report on human trafficking.
Realising that young girls, victims of human trafficking, often did not have stable jobs, Trinh wanted to help them to study for a job.
Since then, the programme has helped improve the lives of thousands of people, she said.
“The thing that makes me happy the most is seeing independent women. With the independence, they have voice in their families, they have rights to educate their children and have happier, better lives,” said Trinh.
Valery Gaucherand, chief executive officer of L’Oreal Vietnam, said that the beauty of this programme was it enabled underprivileged women to regain their self-confidence and become independent financially.
“The success in changing lives and improving social status of close to 2,000 women in Việt Nam in the past nine years has become a valuable inspiration for more young women to fight for a brighter future and take the lead for a better life through beauty careers,” he said. — VNS