The Oasis Academy offers vocational hairdressing and beauty training to victims of human trafficking and forced labor in some of the most disadvantaged communities in Mumbai. The program’s objective is to provide women and girls a pathway to full time employment and rehabilitation into society.
“Last year a client of mine told me about these communities and the reality for women and girls who are at risk from trafficking or are victims,” Fennel recalled. “And she asked if I could go to Mumbai to see if I could help.”
By February, he was touring the areas and teaching the women hair techniques. “I realized very quickly we could help these girls make a huge leap to change their lives. Their stories were so shocking, and yet they remained positive, believing that one day their dreams of a normal life will come true. I spent every night reflecting on everything I had seen and heard and it broke me! These people had been dealt the worst hand in life and all they want is a chance.”
Fennel has since planned the hair academy’s curriculum and arranged for equipment to be sent to the two Oasis International centers where classes will take place. He is also creating education videos so the students can learn online and become accredited.