In April 2020 wearing face masks in public places such as offices, shops and on public transport, became mandatory. The government recommends that every South African should own at least two well-fitting cloth masks so that they can be washed each time they are used, rather than buying single-use masks that cannot be recycled or hoarding medical-grade masks which are needed by hospitals.
Enter #10MillionMasks. Launched by a team of creative design agencies, in partnership with the AfrikaTikkun charity, #10MillionMasks aims to harness the power of shared skills, resources and community ingenuity to ensure that every South African who needs one, has a mask.
In order to reach a goal of producing 10 million masks, the #10MillionMasks campaign is connecting up sewers with available materials. Those with sewing machines and the relevant skills to make a mask at home are invited to register online. Once registered you will then be connected up to a supply of fabrics, bought with donations from the community.
Similarly, local charities, vulnerable communities such as homeless shelters, orphanages and old age homes, as well as essential workers who are in need of cloth face masks but can't afford them, can also register with the organisation. Once registered the needy are then connected to a local 'sewing circle' who will be mobilised to produce the masks specifically for them.
#10MillionMasks helped us to reach our goal of getting face masks for the 200 pupils of Joburg's charitable school programme for refugee children Three2Six Project. Within the space of a week they had sewn hundreds of masks for teachers and staff, and in a most beautiful child-friendly series of patterns - big thank you to the Joburg sewing circles who quickly mobilised to help us help these vulnerable children safely return to school in June!
DONATE TODAY AND HELP #10MILLION MASKS REACH THEIR GOAL#10million masks relies on donations from the public to buy the fabrics needed by their sewing circles to make masks. They are also empowering sewers who themselves are in vulnerable financial situations to make a living by taking orders from businesses and individuals with the means to buy masks (masks cost R30 each). Again buyers will be linked up to the closest sewers so that the programme continues to support the local community. Simple, and ingenious.
DONATE TO #10MILLIONMASKS: You can donate to buy masks for the needy today online here, one mask costs just R30.
If your company or charity needs masks, or if you would like to register as a mask maker, head to 10millionmasks.africa