It’s hard to leave the comfort zone. But anyone who knows me, knows I’m not just talking, I act. Changes bring transformations and improvements, and just like that the project “Shaping Futures” and I came together. India! Yes I have been to Thailand and Vietnam but India should be different. The first contacts with Monique Müller (Schwarzkopf) were great – she’s the one who led the project on location. I arrived in late september full of anticipation of what was waiting for me and met Monique again in Delhi’s largest market square, Chandni Chowk.
Every morning we were greeted by the students, already waiting at the entrance, with a Good Morning Madam / Sir Good Morning. It was Monique Müller, Ines Schilling, Roland Schwan and me. During the 14 days it became clear that this was the perfect mix. Did I have any expectations of how to prepare Indian teenagers to be a hairdressers? Young people and their families who had been cared for by SOS for a certain period? I had a few but I was proven wrong. Teenagers in India or in Germany, I could find many similarities. The reverent silence when questions are asked about the subjects of the last day in the first lesson of the day. How someone can speak loudly during a break and absolute silence is in the classroom. The joy of the first successful permanent wave rollers (without lace paper), updos, haircuts and highlighting. Personal life stories of young women that have deeply moved me, and which are hard conceive as a European woman. A young man (18 years old), who has several children and has to feed the whole family, it all depends on his success. Can I provide a better life for my family if I manage to get that diploma? Students who have prospered through an achievement so that just the thought brings a smile to my face. And yes, they had to deal with homework and just like everywhere else in the world, half of them have ndid it, the others copied from each other. In short, many things are similar, teens just like music from their cell phone better than doing and yet they enjoy the small, hard-won success in craftsmanship. It’s hard to put into words the gratitude we felt at the farewell, tears, small & large gestures, hugs , pictures & letters, quite wonderful memories of a very meaningful time.