Clonakilty Lodge women join face masks initiative

April 21st, 2020 11:45 AM

By Kieran O'Mahony

Sofya Abashko is co-ordinating the initiative. (Photo: Clare Keogh)

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TWO women from Clonakilty Lodge, West Cork’s only direct provision centre, have joined others from six other centres around Cork to make hygiene face masks for residents in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Sanctuary Masks Initiative (SMI) – spearheaded by Better Together and the Cork Migrant Centre – is bringing together women who are able to sew and make these masks.

‘We now have two women at Clonakilty Lodge who started this week making the face masks,’ said  Vera Stojanovic, a project manager  for SMI.

‘We are planning to make 6,000 of these hygiene masks and to give three to each person in each of the six direct provision centres in Cork and we have 2,000 made already.’

Vera and Dr Naomi Masheti of the Cork Migrant Centre are happy so far with the progress being made and the fact that the women making the masks are getting paid for the work.

‘The women who are sewing the face masks are moving at such a quick pace that we hope give out masks to other vulnerable communities in the next few weeks.’

Each of the women involved have been supplied with a sewing machine, fabrics and the necessary supplies needed for the making of these washable hygiene masks. The masks are made using pure cotton and linen, they are breathable, non-irritant and do not shrink after being washed.

Residents at the direct provision centre at Drishane Castle in Millstreet and at the emergency temporary centre at the Riverside Hotel Macroom are also involved in this project.

‘The whole project really only started on March 28th so the 2,000 masks already made have been only made in the last week-and-a-half and we hope to start distributing them next week,’ added Vera.

SMI have also set up a GoFundMe page, which has raised nearly €9,000 so far.

See ‘Hygiene masks made by women in direct provision’ on GoFundMe for more information.

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