Masakhane Mask Project

The Masakhane Mask Project… now a big TEAM with new partners and GOALS!

How it all started:

South Africa announced that from the 1st of May, all people in South Africa are obliged to wear masks, the minute they leave their home. Home-made material Masks were promoted by Government for ordinary citizens that don’t work in the medical field. However, informal settlement communities don’t have access to these material masks, and they come at a price. The going rate for a basic re-usable material mask is R20.

i-MED vision, with our Health Revolution Project that focuses on Health Education and Training, immediately realized that we need to address this issue in the community. Masakhane is the informal settlement we work with, just outside of Gansbaai in South Africa, with an estimated population of 12.000 people.

The brainstorming started with solutions to be found. How do we produce these masks at minimal cost and distribute/donate them for free in the community? Discussing ideas, we’ve started off in partnership with Shark and Marine research institute, a local NPO in the area. Our first goal was to produce masks for volunteers that work at the community soup kitchen.

A sewing pattern search on google, some prototypes and adjustments, one sewing machine and donated material, two volunteers, a kitchen table, and we’ve started! The first 100 adult masks were produced within a few days and distributed to 50 volunteers that work daily at the soup kitchen in Masakhane. The demand grew, and we need to move faster, we need to expand and partner with others!

The Mask project became one big team effort with more partners that were already all busy with the same idea. The newly expanded team consisted of i-MED vision, Do Good, Shark & Marine Research Institute, and the Grootbos Foundation. Our new goal was to produce and distribute 10.000 masks not only in Masakhane and local clinics but also in neighboring areas. The mask production team now consists of 30 seamstresses located in Gansbaai, Masakhane, and Stanford. The project also created income for 30 families, that had no income due to lockdown.

So far, we’ve managed to produce and distribute 3.500 masks (the equivalent of R70.000,00 ) in 2 weeks with the donations received.

We are thankful for everyone who sponsored a mask and helping us to reach our goal!

6.500 Masks to go, please support us by sponsoring a mask at R20!