"You’re someone special too"
Founded in 2018, consists in a cosmetology school that is located within an ISNA foster care center (government institution that oversees the wellbeing of children in El Salvador) called “Hogar del Niño San Vicente de Paul” (SVDP). With the help of ISNA and the Head Nun and Director Leticia Abarca Chinchilla we were able to get a small space which turned out to be the classroom and hair salon for this new project. We started out with a shell and we did the built out for the hair salon we stepped on by faith because at the time we really didn’t have the money for it.
But God is always good and with the help of churches, organization and private donors we were able to get the equipment and supplies needed to make this place fully functional hair salon. This was all inspired by Kurt’s mother Valia Ackermann and her Hair Salon in Hampton, Virginia named “You’re someone special”, hence the name. We’d like to thank Eduardo Franco, a famous hair stylist in El Salvador, who’s been sponsoring a full-time teacher for the cosmetology school and even donates shampoo and hair products as well which helps us to keep it running.
There are more than one hundred and seventy-five children in this center, ranging from babies all the way up to seventeen-year-old teens and this is one of the few foster care centers that has teen moms as part of the children they support and help. Most of these young women are not able to continue with their studies due to the lack of guidance and support, they are usually taught on how to take care of babies, how to clean, how to cook, how to change diapers, etcetera, but not really something they can use to get through in life. Since this is a center managed by the Government of El Salvador and in most cases, they disregard completely the need for these young women to have an education. So, while visiting this center Kurt noticed their need and he listened to God’s calling in his life which is to restore hope in others. The main goal for the cosmetology school is to offer children basic training in hair and nails, and if they like it then they can use it in their future to make a living.
How does it work?
“You’re someone special too” Hair and Nail School teaches 6 different foster care centers, they come in groups from each center, most of the young ladies and boys that come to this project are referred by their own director at each center. They receive classes throughout the week in 8 different classes, depending on the level of practice they have. They start from the very basics from how to use a hairdryer, wash hair, cut hair to a lot more.
We have plans to make this project bigger, and we have high hopes that God will allow us bring it to a level that can make young people aging out of the foster care system become more independent by learning new occupations like this and to learn new things and to widen their opportunities.