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Bluemind Foundation: Heal By Hair featured in VOGUE

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International recognition for an African initiative serving the mental health of African women

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Video @VOGUE

On the occasion of International Women’s Day, the innovative Heal by Hair program of the Bluemind Foundation was highlighted in the prestigious magazine VOGUE. After gaining attention from The New York Times last December, Heal by Hair once again gains international prominence by being featured in VOGUE’s Global Women’s Feature issue, emphasizing its crucial role in promoting the mental health of African women.

PHOTO @Delali Ayivi / VOGUE

VOGUE’s praise, an expanding notoriety: a major turning point for Heal by Hair 

Heal by Hair, a pioneering movement of hairdresser ambassadors for mental health in Africa, is a flagship program of the Bluemind Foundation. It aims to improve the mental health and well-being of African women, one client at a time, through the hairdresser’s chair. Since its launch, the program has transformed the lives of nearly 54,000 women in Togo, Cameroon, and Ivory Coast.

“Heal by Hair has opened my eyes to the importance of mental health and has given me the tools to support my clients beyond just hairstyling. Being published in Vogue is an extraordinary recognition of our mental health ambassador work! It is a source of pride for our community and our country, Togo.” – Adaku Adama Hondeglah, Promotion Delegate.

“I am grateful to the Bluemind Foundation for providing me with the knowledge to support my clients in their mental well-being through the Heal by Hair training. It is an incredible honor to have the opportunity to share our stories and commitment to mental health in such a prestigious magazine as Vogue.” – Hélène Azoyivo, Co-Delegate.

“Heal by Hair has been more than just training for me. It has been a true revelation about the importance of mental health and community support. Being featured in Vogue shows that our voice and experience matter, even in the biggest circles. It proves that it is possible to start from the neighborhoods of Lomé and land on the pages of major magazines. The New York Times and now Vogue, it’s like a dream…!” – Têlé Akouavi Da Silveira.

Video @VOGUE

Since its launch, Heal by Hair has received exceptional media coverage, with articles in media outlets such as The New York Times, BBC World, Voice of America, and TV5 Afrique. This recognition has also translated into strong institutional support, notably from the Ministries of Health of Togo and Ivory Coast, as well as financial partners such as the Fund for Innovation in Development (FID) (hosted by the French Development Agency (AFD) and chaired by Esther Duflo (Nobel Economics 2019) and the European Union. The program has been regularly rewarded, which reflects a growing awareness among stakeholders of the need for innovative, effective, and sustainable public health solutions for African populations, in accordance with their socio-cultural reality.

A historic chapter for mental health and the empowerment of African women, a renewed commitment from the Bluemind Foundation 

While Bluemind Foundation programs gain influence and social impact, women’s mental health remains a major issue in Africa. According to the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME), 135 million people suffer from mental health problems in Africa, and among them, women under 25 represent 60% of those with mental health problems (81 million), and 85% of them do not have access to necessary treatment. Thus, the spotlight on the Heal by Hair program in VOGUE reflects the importance of continuing efforts to break taboos and promote women’s empowerment. The Bluemind Foundation reaffirms its commitment to expanding the program’s impact and supporting African women in accessing better mental health and well-being.

PHOTO @Delali Ayivi / VOGUE

“Today, as we celebrate women’s rights, it is crucial to recognize that women’s right to good mental health is an essential element of elevating their power and overall well-being. As Heal by Hair and Togo, representing the whole of Africa, are honored in VOGUE, this publication holds singular importance for our organization as well as for the faithful partners who trust us. This testifies to the tireless efforts of the Bluemind Foundation teams and underscores the profound impact we have on communities, with transformative results directly impacting the lives of hairdressers and their clients. Our determination to continue our mission to serve the mental well-being of communities only grows stronger.” – Marie-Alix de Putter, Founder and President of the Bluemind Foundation.

By 2035, the Bluemind Foundation aims to improve the mental health and well-being of 2,000,000 African women in 20 cities across Africa.

To read the full VOGUE article: https://www.vogue.com/article/global-women-togo-braids

To rediscover the New York Times article: https://www.nytimes.com/2023/11/26/world/africa/hair-salon-mental-health-services.html

To support the Heal by Hair program: https://www.bluemindfoundation.org/donate

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