Day 3 – Japanese Haircutters Conduct Free Hair Cut for Families at Olongapo Landfill

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A different view and smell welcomed the hair designers in Landfill Olongapo. Landfill is one of the dump side areas in Olongapo and separating recyclable trash and waste is the profession for people who live in the area. They earn about 200 to 300 pesos, USD$4-5, per day. Mr. Yokota explained that there is a system and team to recycle the trash, and they form a circle whenever a dump car comes and dumps trashes in order for them to separate the trash easily. People tend to pity those who live in a dump side, but separation of trash is their profession and the job is requested by city hall. Hence, they are haircutters at landfill1working with their pride. Having family in the community, children would of course curious about what the parents are doing, so they would follow to the piled of trash where they might accidently step on sharp objects. In order for children to avoid the accident, Action constructed a small park by the dump side, so then children could play in the park while parents are working in a dump side.
haircutters at landfill3After knowing the background of this area, a small welcome ceremony by Olongapo City Hall was conducted and haircut for 100 people was started. A simple and temporal hair salon for 100 people was at the basketball court over viewing the piled trash. There were also booth for nail, body sticker, and hair accessary waiting area. 18 chairs were lined up under two tents to avoid the strong sunlight. 72 mothers and the rest were children on the list.

A couple of staffs from City Hall were assigned to control the flow of haircut, so they raised their haircutters at landfill2hand to inform other staff to call the next person on the list if a hair designer finished with haircutting. As the name was called, he or she went straight to an empty chair with nervousness and excitement. They smiled again or tried to hide their shyness by looking down as the hair designer smiled and asked them about the hair design. Some of them were talking to the person next to them, staring at the ground, and not knowing where to look at during haircutting. Though all of them on the list smiled with the hair designer after the haircut.

haircutters at landfill4After the haircut, Mayor of Olongapo City arrived in Landfill, gave a brief speech to the crowd, and distributed school supplies. Snacks and candies from hair designers were also distributed to the children in the community. All the staffs from City Hall were helpful, so this event went smoothly and accordingly.

We were able to see so many smiles during this event such as smile of hair designers, pupils, teachers, neighbors, staffs from City Hall, and whomever supported this event. We are thankful to the people and community for having us and we all hope we could do this again in the same or different community in the Philippines.