Good For Nothing? Seja Majeed
By Jemima Jordan 28th October 09
Seja obtained a vcashpoint grant to fund her Cosmetic Hives project, designed to deliver make-up application workshops to young people interested in gaining the skills and experience necessary to enter the fashion and media industry. Seja has been a committed volunteer for many years, and in 2007 visited Iraq where she delivered humanitarian aid.
‘Volunteering is character-building, and you learn how determined you are as a person. People respect you. It’s a great way to learn who you are. Ultimately it’s about getting to know yourself and other people. I’m proud to be part of v’s Good For Nothing campaign and hope to show that there’s more to young people than meets the eye.’
Seja had her first taste of volunteering at the age of sixteen when she was elected as student governor of the City of Westminster College. Attending training events, exhibitions and performances were part of the role, as well as contributing to meetings. Seja’s volunteering continued when she was elected to join the law society at Brunel University where she was a law undergraduate.
‘The year I spent working with lecturers and other prominent members of the law society gave me great experience, and made me passionate about volunteering and getting involved in all kinds of issues’.
Seja started the Cosmetic Hives project in order to help young people gain the skills and experience needed to get into the fashion industry.
‘There are a lot of young people who want to get into fashion and media – it can be a lucrative business – but they may not have the skills to do so. In our sessions we teach them how to apply make-up on professional models, a professional photographer takes shots, and a production company records the workshops, so at the end the participants have a portfolio they can show to prospective employers’.
Each student attends three workshops, which were held in a studio in Fulham.
‘I wanted to give them an idea of a proper working environment for this type of work, rather than holding sessions in a community centre without any atmosphere’, says Seja. ‘This way they could get an authentic feeling, a proper vibe of what it’s like, with lights, mirrors, cameras, and so on, which will help them when they go to interviews. As well as the portfolio, at the end they will have a little experience and a taster of working within the industry’.
• Seja’s thoughts on the good work young people are doing in their communities
“Young people have a lot of imagination, creativity and energy – something which communities really benefit from. It really gives you a sense of pride to know that your fellow peers are making a difference in their community and empowering themselves. Because of their good work they’re challenging the sterotype and adding a heart to the community which may not be there. All they need is a little bit of funding and support from their community to unleash their talents.”
Copy written by Caroline Pearce