WATCH: Western Cape mask initiative in the spirit of ubuntu
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Cape Town - Health MEC Nomafrench Mbombo officially launched the Ubuntu cloth mask initiative at a factory in Goodwood, on Tuesday.
Mbombo was joined by The Health Foundation of SA chief executive Harry Grainger and Stellenbosch University Infection, Prevention and Control specialist Professor Shaheen Mehtar.
The public-private initiative was co-ordinated by WoW! (Western Cape on Wellness) in partnership with The Health Foundation, Coconut Jazz and other organisations.
WoW! has been working with manufacturing company Coconut Jazz in designing and production of the three-layered masks, with two designs suited for children and adults. Ubuntu cloth masks are available for purchase, with a part donation of masks to communities in need.
Grainger said the partnership would allow for 100% of the financial donations made in support of this initiative to be used for the production and distribution of cloth masks to vulnerable communities.
By purchasing two masks, one would automatically be donated to a community member in need.
Stacked material for masks ready for stitching. Social distancing is practiced by seamstresses working on sewing machines at Coconut Jazz while they produce cloth masks. Picture Courtney Africa/African News Agency(ANA)
WoW!’s public health medicine registrar Dr Jesse Werner said: “The fundamental part of this campaign is social solidarity. It really comes down to us as a country working together, calling on different sectors to transversely work together to really reach out to the community and get masks out to people who need it the most.”
Coconut Jazz co-owner Fiona Hoadley said: “We had three goals, one was to re-employ our own staff or keep them employed, to create employment, and give back to the vulnerable.”
Mbombo said: “The focus is on how do I protect you and how do you protect me.”
Donations to the initiative can be made to The Health Foundation.