Home>November 2020>From pastries to face masks

From pastries to face masks

Your support is helping us adapt our projects to meet the areas of greatest need amidst the impacts of COVID-19.

Refugees and people seeking asylum in Angola, Africa have been hit particularly hard by the pandemic. Restrictions have left many households without access to basic essentials, like food and hygiene materials, or the means to support their families.

To meet immediate needs, our partner, Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS), Southern Africa, purchased and distributed food packages containing oil, maize meal, salt, and rice, plus hygiene packs for 318 refugee families in the Lunda Norte province.

Back in March, we started a project with JRS Southern Africa, providing livelihoods skills training in pastry-making and culinary skills to 100 refugees living in Lovua Refugee Settlement. But the training had to stop after just a few weeks when the government declared emergency restrictions to contain the spread of COVID-19.

To help vulnerable people continue to develop new skills and become financially independent—while keeping safe—the focus of the training shifted to making face masks. This also gave community members access to affordable masks for protection from the virus. JRS Southern Africa recruited 30 seamstresses who had recently completed the Jesuit Mission funded vocational skills training program. They were tasked with making 20,000 masks and, so far, they’ve already produced 10,120 masks!

Thank you for your support to continue reaching the people in greatest need!

“Last year, I benefited from cutting and sewing training in which I learned new techniques. This year, the project team chose me to be the group trainer…and gave us the challenge of sewing homemade masks. We were given pieces of cloth, thread, and the model for masks. We started sewing 50 to 60 masks a day. As sales went up, I got a lot of income which greatly improved my economic situation.” - Kally Kasawu, sewing group trainer

Posted 27 October 2020

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