Meet the woman who fled East Africa then became homeless & is now a beauty therapist

Hana is from East Africa, where she grew up, studied art, worked and started a family.

But, just over a year ago Hana had to flee her home country for the safety of herself and her son. She found herself homeless in London and unable to get a job.

Now, thanks to donations from the public, Hana has enrolled on a beauty therapy course and will be able to pursue her dream career in the beauty and fashion industry.

Hana’s life turned around when a homeless charity referred her to Beam – a new crowdfunding platform to help homeless people train up and get into work.

Backed by the Mayor of London, Beam helped Hana raise £3,845 from 480 supporters in just 1 month to fund a beauty therapist training course. Hana is now learning her art at a leading beauty school.

Hana told her supporters, “I’m confident that – with your help – I’ll be doing a job I love and saving for a rental deposit in no time!”

Hana has loved art and beauty since she was a child. At Hana’s school, where Catholic nuns taught art and embroidery, she was able to develop her creative talents and nimble hands.

In her spare time, she would sew clothes for her Barbies and help in her friend’s salon.

Her passion is bridal make-up and she has shared her number 1 beauty tip for any brides-to-be: “simple eye pencil is the way to go!”. In Africa, Hana told us, there are not many make-up artists, so Hana used Angel Eyes products to do her own make-up on her wedding day.

Hana loves helping people and as a professional beauty therapist hopes to use make-up, waxing and other treatments to help other women feel confident in themselves. “I love helping people…make-up makes you feel confident”, Hana says.

She approaches each customer like a work of art and is learning new techniques everyday during training.

The Level 2 Beauty Therapy Diploma will give Hana an industry-recognised qualification, allowing her to progress into stable work as a beauty therapist.

Hana says, “I am learning a skill and making friends – it has deepened my knowledge and there are so many things to learn”

Hana’s course started in April and she is currently in the middle of waxing training! The modules include Manicure & Pedicure, Facials, Waxing and Brow & Lash Treatments.

“Hana is a positive, kind and determined student. She has really taken to the practical side of the course with excellent client care skills and a warming touch, which is what every therapist needs to succeed”, says Nira, Hana’s Beauty Therapy Lecturer.

With their generous donations, the 480 supporters funded Hana’s training course and other related costs, including travel, a laptop and work shoes.

Many left emotional and encouraging messages for Hana on her profile, giving her the confidence and motivation to pursue her dreams.

Eszter, Beam supporter, who donated £20 said, Good luck with your dreams from a Hungarian immigrant”. James supported her choice of career path; “You’ll make a great beautician I think. Best of luck, all of us are supporting you!”

With her new, online support network backing her all the way, Hana’s future looks bright.

“The plan is to work in big hotels – there are so many opportunities for jobs as a beautician. Everything is open to me and I feel so positive about my future”, she said, beaming!


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We need to get more Londoners leaving care into education,employment & training

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