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Beyond the Burqa

An education in cosmetology can change lives. Nowhere is this more evident than in post-war Afghanistan, where a three-month course at Kabul Beauty School & Oasis Spa gives graduates the capability to earn three to four times the national average salary.

An education in cosmetology can change lives. Nowhere is this more evident than in post-war Afghanistan, where a three-month course at Kabul Beauty School & Oasis Spa gives graduates the capability to earn three to four times the national average salary. Founded in 2002 by American hairdresser Debbie Rodriguez, the school provides training to both literate and non-literate Afghani women. For 1,000, Rodriguez provides technical training along with the necessary business skills to run a salon.

Lindy Walser, a Santa Barbara, Calif-based hairdresser, has made it her mission to raise the funds to keep the school going. After hearing about the program on a newscast, Walser first donated supplies, then visited the school for herself earlier this year. “Those profound three weeks of my life were powerful and immensely gratifying,” she says. “I learned that I could make a difference. But I wondered what larger impact could be made if more people knew what a few dollars could make in the lives of Afghan women.” 

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