Transformation of Colours

Beautifully dressed brides and grooms took to the ramp in an array of styles and fashion. It was a gala night, with photographers, TV crew from various local stations, pounding music and colourful lights, as brides and grooms dressed in traditional Sinhalese, western and Tamil bridal attire sashayed down the ramp.

‘Transformation of Colours’ – bridal extravaganza, held in August 2010 was the culmination of a 3 month Beauty Culture course conducted by the Alliance Development Trust (ADT) in partnership with the Government of Sri Lanka (GoSL).

The applause was thunderous as the beauticians who dressed the brides came up to take a bow and collect their certificates. “We never had an opportunity to follow a course like this before. My sister learnt dancing and I’ve always wanted to learn beauty culture. Besides, now I can even go abroad and make a livelihood with what I have learnt. My parents too are very happy for me”, said Selvarajini, a student who followed this course. Indeed it was a happy occasion for many parents, family and loved ones who were in the audience.

This was no ordinary bridal extravaganza. At ‘Transformation of Colours’ 36 ex LTTE cadres graduated. The programme took place at the Women’s Rehabilitation Centre in Pempemadu, Vavuniya.

In December 2009, the GoSL invited Alliance Development Trust (ADT) to help with the vocational training programmes they had planned for the female ex-combatants living in the camps. ADT then launched a comprehensive 3 months course in May 2010 which taught the students all they needed to know about facials, make up, re-bonding and perming hair, manicures, pedicures and bridal dressing. The students were only familiar with Hindu bridals and the Tamil way of dressing up. Under the Bridal dressing category they learnt about Western bridals, Kandyan bridals, Indian bridals, Hindu bridals and ‘going-away’ bridal attire. At the end of the course, the students were required to sit for a written examination, a practical test as well as compile a manual of what they had learnt. The students whose ages ranged from 20 to 45 years took to their new vocation with enthusiasm and passion. It was clear from the start they were serious about following through right to the end and finishing well. “When I go back home, I would like to start my own salon,” one student expressed.

At the ceremony the students sang a welcome song composed by them for the invitees.  ADT provided the students with a special outfit which they wore when they went up to receive the certificate of participation. Amongst the special invitees was Brigadier S. Ranasinghe, RWP RSP, Commissioner General of Rehabilitation. Each student was permitted to invite two family members to the awards ceremony. In gratitude of the devoted work carried out by ADT the Government of Sri Lanka awarded ADT with a certificate of appreciation.

ADT is committed to partner with the Government of Sri Lanka in rehabilitating the war displaced communities and uplift their lives through different livelihood training programmes.

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