"I never had the desire to go to Africa," says Stevens, who owns the Cole Stevens Salon and Day Spa in Greenbelt, Maryland, which grossed $933,000 last year. However, she was convinced to go to Africa by the woman in charge of missions at her church. In October, Stevens took a team of eight volunteers on a mission to war-torn Sierra Leone to train 100 women in various beauty services so they could use those skills to start businesses. "When I realized that I could help these women realize their dreams, I knew we could change the world."
More and more people are trekking abroad to lend a helping hand. Says Troy Peden, founder of VolunteerAbroad.com: "While there has been a growth in green-eco volunteer work, social welfare and community development type projects are still the most popular."
To make the Sierra Leone mission a success, the Cinderella Foundation partners with 500 local salons, which donate everything from eyebrow tweezers to textbooks, and throws fundraising events to help pay for the three-day trip "They can't wait for us to get back," Stevens says. "They are so hopeful that there's someone who wants to pour knowledge in them."
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|Title Annotation:||GOING GLOBAL; Diane Cole Stevens with the Cinderella Foundation designed to empower African American girls throughout the Washington metropolitan region|
|Article Type:||Brief article|
|Date:||Dec 1, 2008|
|Previous Article:||Small business.|