Joan Mararac had big dreams when she was young. She wanted to work abroad to earn for her family, then return to the Philippines to set up her own restaurant.
However, getting pregnant prevented her from pursuing her dreams. She stayed in the country instead, taking care of her two kids. Determined to get a job, Mararac ended up as a cashier in several establishments despite having a degree in Business Administration. Eventually, she stopped working and her husband, an overseas Filipino worker, became the sole provider for the family.
Discouraged and overwhelmed with marital problems and motherhood responsibilities, Mararac lost confidence in herself. Thankfully, her training through the L’Oreal Philippines Inc.’s ‘Beauty for a Better Life’ program gave her hope and restored her self-worth and self-esteem.
Mararac is one of the 23 beneficiaries of BFBL Batch 6 who received training in haircare and make-up. Aside from lectures and hands-on training, Mararac and her fellow trainees underwent internship at L’Oreal partner-salons.
“I had difficulty managing my time because I had to juggle the training and caring for my kids. But I pushed through with the training because it gave me purpose and direction that I am more than just a mother, I can still have a dream. The training also helped me regain confidence and trust in myself,” said Mararac.
Graduating at the top of the class, Mararac and her fellow trainees also received starter kits that would enable them to launch their own small businesses. They were joined by BFBL alumni who received their Technical Education and Skills Development Authority national certificate.
“After this training, I will work on getting a Tesda national certificate. I am also going to put up my own home service salon to earn money for my family,” said Mararac.
Under the program, L’Oreal Philippines in partnership with PBSP trains community members on beauty and hairdressing techniques as well as personality development and financial literacy. The three-month training includes hands-on exercises and internship at L’Oreal partner-salons. In fact, some trainees went to work for L’Oreal partner salons after graduating.
“Other L’Oreal countries run their BFBL for specific sectors of society like out-of-school youth or single mothers. But here in the Philippines, we decided to go back to the heart of the community which is the barangay. We are the only country implementing BFBL in a community-based program which caters to men and women alike,” said Carmel Valencia, corporate communications director of L’Oreal Philippines.
Launched in April 2017 in the Philippines, BFBL has already trained around 130 men and women from Barangay Sto. Niño and Barangay Jesus dela Peña in Marikina City. Most trainees were unemployed and never thought that they would have a chance to learn a new skill, but BFBL helped them realize that there are still opportunities for them. Now, more than 60 of the graduates are employed or already have their own salon or home service business.
In the third year of Beauty for a Better Life Project, L’Oreal and PBSP will continue the training to benefit 225 men and women in Barangay Sto. Rosario Kanluran in Pateros; Barangay Western Bicutan in Taguig; and Barangay Bagong Nayon in Antipolo City.
“The BFBL program is our way of expanding the way people see beauty. We want people to see that beauty is a way to drive social progress. That it is not just a service or product you buy in a store but something that can change lives,” said Valencia.
PBSP is the largest business-led non-government organization at the forefront of strategic corporate citizenship and business sector leadership contributing to sustainable development and poverty reduction. Established in 1970, PBSP remains a consultant and partner of choice of companies and donors.
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