At the heart of our non-profit, FreeRoots, we believe that human trafficking is modern day slavery and a violation of basic human rights. As a community, our non-profit dedicated to training those affected by human trafficking through the discipline of hairstyling. The mission is to walk along side these victims, and ensure that they are successful in building the skills necessary to live their lives with purpose & freedom.
FreeRoots has given both Urban Eve & BleuRoots stylists & staff to be a part of something bigger outside of the salon. When traveling to Cambodia or India, it is no longer only about providing excellent service & making people feel beautiful inside & out… but to make a notable difference in these people’s lives.
On October 11th, 2016, eight of our own boarded a plane to Cambodia. Yari Leyva-Carillo, one of our stylists at BleuRoots West Columbia, was among this group. It was her first trip with the FreeRoots organization. Hear about her experience below:
“Where do I even start? Since I started at Bleu Roots, I would hear the girls talk about Cambodia! I told myself I was going to go one day! When October 11,2016 arrived & I got on that flight, everyone would ask me if I was nervous. I didn’t feel that way. I was excited & so happy that I was going! I didn’t know what to expect, but I soaked up every moment of it.
When we got there, the first thing we did was play with the kids at Alabaster. Oh my goodness… those kids have the biggest hearts ever! They love on you like no other. Playing at the park with them made me feel like a kid again. Noticing the the way they took care of each other was priceless. We went to Siem Reap & saw some incredible old temples (I even got to ride an elephant!)
Best of all, we go to sit down & talk to some amazing people with BIG dreams! My favorite thing of all was teaching the girls how to cut hair! They have such amazing open hearts. Not only did we teach them, but I believe they taught us. The girls kept wanting to learn & learn with no breaks! This only made teaching them so much more of a joy.
On the last day, we ate pizza with them & they received a certificate in Introductory Hair Design. They shared so many moments & feelings with us that I will never forget. Those girls will always have a big space in my heart. If you asked me today if I would go back to Cambodia, I would say “Heck Yes!” in a heartbeat! <3″