The graduation ceremony was graced by Guest of Honour, Yang Berhormat Puan Hannah Yeoh, Deputy Minister of Women, Family & Community Development. She remarked that the Beauty for a Better Life programme complements the ministry’s efforts to develop underprivileged women by providing vocational training opportunities to those who cannot afford it. She also highlighted as the training is tuition-free, it eradicates the barrier for young women from poor families to gain a professional skill, and more importantly a means of living through employment or starting their own service business thereafter. YB Yeoh continued to highlight that the government cannot, or at least not on their own to provide such vocational training unless they partner with people who excel in the industry such as L’Oréal to guide and mentor young women to find their place and remain connected in the marketplace.
During the graduation ceremony at the YWCA Vocational Training Opportunity Centre in Kuala Lumpur, the class of 2019 graduates put their skills to practice by providing haircuts and makeup to students from SOLS 24/7 Academy of Innovation, a non-profit organization that focuses on education and empowerment of underserved communities. They included teenagers who are going for job interviews and could do with professional hairstyling and makeup to help them look confident for the jobs they are seeking!
The graduates this year included four young women from the indigenous community in Gua Musang, Kelantan. They have established outstanding performance throughout their training and three of them have already secured a job before their graduation. Outstanding Performance Trainee Award recipient Ramapriya Ramarao, 20, from Selekoh, Perak, shared that her life has changed for the better since joining the Beauty for a Better Life programme. She loves drawing and started practicing mehendi (henna) on her sisters and mother since she was nine. Coming from a single parent family, she finished her SPM, and found out about the programme through a teacher at VTOC. Through Beauty for a Better Life, Ramapriya learned to become independent. Having secured a job even before graduation, she said she will put her skills to good use as a beautician and henna artist, transforming her passion into her career.
Local celebrities and key influencers were also present to support and rooted for the graduating students. The event ended in high spirit with a preview of a music video that was made in conjunction with Rogue Festival themed “The Upcycling Recycling. The video was conceptualized by Lindsey Ong while the costumes, makeup and hairstyles were done by the VTOC students. It features Juwita Suwito with her uplifting song “Greater”.