Best Ideas 2020 features all the nominated entries submitted under ‘Submit your Idea’ category. All the entries consist of innovative solutions or propositions for an enterprise that champions the Sustainable Development Goals. They can be on the conceptual, planning, or start-up stage.
HER: Heal Empower Relief
Explain your idea in details:
The importance of facial appearance to Southeast Asian women is critical. Having a beautiful face provides one with more job opportunities and the confidence to pursue challenging, change-making endeavors. However, women who suffer facial deformities at birth or due to burns, acid attacks, or accidents, do not feel that they belong in society. The effect of a culture that judges women based on their outward appearance has a devastating effect on their confidence, social interactions, and others measures of their worth. HERs main objectives are instilling confidence in women who suffer facial deformities. We will achieve this through setting up workshops at various womens foundations across Thailand. Participants will receive a beauty kit which will include skincare and makeup products that are personalized to each recipients condition. Concealers to hide scars, together with soothing aloe vera and scar-healing gels to heal scars will be provided within the kit. For women with severe injuries, HER will help cover costs for reconstructive surgery. Money used for the products and reconstructive surgeries will be earned through the HER online store which sells similar skincare and makeup products under the one-for-one model. HER workshops will teach women how to apply these skincare and beauty products to hide and heal their facial scars. Workshops will be led by student volunteers who received pre-training from a professional makeup artist. As a result, our workshops can incorporate both women with facial deformities and women interested in learning skills for future employment. Student volunteers will teach women how to use products inside their beauty kits, as well as basic make-up application techniques. HER's approach is innovative because this business model will connect disfigured women with the products and training they need to allow them to reintegrate back into society without fear of judgment.
Expected impact of your idea on sustainable development
Although there are not a lot of women who face terrible facial deformities from acid attacks, burns or other accidents, those women who are affected face deep prejudice, discrimination, and stares from society that make them feel afraid to go outside in public and to look for jobs. It is especially difficult for them in Thai society, where women are judged based on their appearance. This means that they lose their own independence and have to depend on other people to take care of them. By teaching them how to apply makeup to hide their scars, we can give them their independence back so that they can lead more normal lives. We can also give more independence to the people who take care of these women. For our measures for success, we can look at how many women participate in these trainings. We can give them surveys to understand if they feel more confident in themselves, or if they start to go outside more often after they learn how to apply makeup. We can also track how many women were able to get jobs after joining the workshops. Another measure of success would be how much we can help these women find a support network of other women who face the same situation. HER will also bring attention to the difficulties that women with facial deformities in Thailand are facing. This can mean that people will be kinder toward these women when they see them outside, and will not judge them so quickly.
Plans for implementation and sustainability
HER will use a one-for-one business model, similar to TOMS Shoes and Warby Parker. Customers will be able to buy products like aloe vera gel, scar remover gel, and concealer. For each unit of the product that customers buy, we will donate one unit to women who suffer from facial deformities through our partner organizations. We will also use the profits from the sales to help fund reconstructive surgeries for the women that we work with. Finally, we will also accept direct donations to sponsor surgeries or buying beauty products for the women. We will sell these products mostly through online channels like Facebook and Instagram and e-commerce sites like Lazada and Shopee. We will also sell products through partner foundations that have stores that sell products. Like in other one-for-one models, the organizations mission will inspire customers to buy our products and to share news about our products through social media, so that we wont have to spend money for advertising. The collaborators will be other students who sign up to volunteer. They will get training from a professional makeup artist so that they will be prepared to teach the women with facial deformities about how they can apply makeup to look their best. We will also have collaborators who will help us to post on social media and build relationships with companies that can help us sell the products.
I am 15 years old and a current sophomore. I had the idea for HER when I was a freshman. I had never been very interested in makeup before. Even when my friends started wearing makeup to hide their acne scars, I didn't think it was worth spending so much time putting it on. However, that changed after I read an article published by the beauty clinic my grandma receives facial treatment at. They funded free reconstructive surgery for a female Vietnamese acid attack victim. I went on to research about acid attacks and realized that it was a major problem in Bangladesh and India, and it also happens in Thailand. Especially in Thailand, women are judged for their physical appearances, especially for their faces. It diminishes women's confidence because they have to constantly worry about how they look. Facial deformities can not only come from acid attacks, but also at birth, burns, or accidents. As a result, I initiated HER to give these women the resources and education they need in order to hide and heal their scars. In preparation for starting the HER non-profit organization, I learned about makeup through a makeup artist who works with my mother at her work events. The qualities contributing to my success are leadership, communication, and hard work. I will start a HER committee at school, where I lead training for student volunteers to prepare them for giving workshops at foundations. I have to communicate with women foundations and volunteers to plan workshops. I have to coordinate with factories on orders to manufacture HER products that we will sell and distribute in our kits. I know this initiative requires hard work, and I believe I have the drive and passion to help give these women the opportunities that everyone deserves.