Buy One.... Get Five Free

From Putney to Madagascar an innovative mask exchange scheme to mask the poorest

Hazel Jupp models one of her masks - Masks ready to be distributed in Madagascar


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With everyone from Aldi to Adidas offering face masks for sale, there are plenty of options available, but Hazel Jupp, from Putney, has been working on an unmissable ‘buy one, get five free’ deal, which helps provide protection to the most vulnerable people in Madagascar.

Madagascar is the poorest country in the world, with almost 80% of the population living on less than $1.90 per day. Whilst coronavirus has had a considerable impact us all, on the island the health infrastructure is limited with mortality rates that are among the highest in the world. The lack of effective communication systems also has a huge impact on the education of COVID-19 and how to avoid it. The virus is projected to take a terrible toll, not only in terms of human life but also in terms of levels of poverty.

Face masks on the island are therefore vitally important to help prevent the spread of CV and are relatively cheap to produce. Thus Hazel, who visited Madagascar in 2018 as part of a initiative to help build a school, has been making masks for an innovative project as part of SEED Madagascar (a UK humanitarian and environmental charity working on the island) Covid-19 appeal. Hazel, along with other volunteers, are making face masks sold for just £5 each, with all funds going to SEED who commission 5 masks to be made by skilled community members in Madagascar who in turn distribute these masks within their community. One pound covers the cost of materials, labour at 2.5x the minimum wage, and distribution of a single mask.

Hazel busy on her machine

Hazel told this website: "Madagascar is very close to my heart, having visited the island in 2018 to assist with Seed's sustainable lives projects. When I heard about the devastating toll coronavirus is likely to have there, I felt obliged to help. Making these masks has been a great way to utilise my sewing skills and contribute to the ongoing effort to support the people of Madagascar. At a time where we all need to wear a mask, I urge people to spend their money wisely and support an amazing cause that protects both you and the people who need it most."

School children in Madagascar

Mark Jacobs, SEED Madagascar Director said: “Helping communities halt the spread of CV is vital. We’ve commissioned over 7,000 masks so far and we’re doing all we can to protect the most vulnerable, but we need more support to build our response. It is terrifying to think about what this pandemic will do in Madagascar.”

Click here to buy a mask or donate and read more about how SEED are helping in Madagascar. You can also help by volunteering to create face masks for sale in the UK – visit here for details.

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August 7, 2020

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