Upcycling in times of the Corona Pandemic: The Witvlei Women's Mask Project

The corona pandemic currently poses a major challenge to Namibia and its population, including the women from Witvlei - a small town in central eastern Namibia - who are unable to earn a living and care for their children at home.

However, sometimes huge hurdles offer new opportunities: Since the Deutsche Höhere Privatschule,Windhoek (DHPS) introduced a new school uniform this year and an increasing number of school clothes were donated, the DHPS shirts are now converted into mouth-nose masks:

One school shirt can be used to make four washable masks, which can also be worn as a buff (balaclava) in winter. Only scissors, no electricity and no sewing machine are needed to produce them. The DHPS school logo is cut off, the buttons remain with the manufacturer and even the sleeves can be converted into children's masks. The rest of the T-shirts are sold as cloths, generating an additional small income for the Witvlei women.

The masks, which are sold for N$ 15, are also affordable for the local population in Witvlei and the former school clothes can still be used for an important and good cause: Upcycling in times of the corona pandemic.

As a lot of material is still available, this project can also be implemented in other organisations to strengthen the civil society. If you are interested in buying masks, have ideas for further projects or uses for the discontinued range of school clothing, please contact Sonja Pack. Please send an email to gruental@iway.na.

(Text: Sonja Pack)


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