Smart Girls Uganda in partnership to give out free masks to vulnerable women

Issued by: Prim & King Communications Ltd

Market vendors in Uganda wearing masks to protect against Covid-19 coronavirus
Smart Girls Uganda CEO Jamila Mayanja (R) hands over a bottle of hand sanitiser to a vendor at Nakasero market. Credit: Courtesy

Smart Girls Uganda, a not for profit organisation, in partnership with Tenge Collections an Afrocentric fashion design house and Hope Hub have distributed masks to vulnerable women in Nakasero Market in a bid to control the spread of the Covid-19 coronavirus.

This was as part of the organizations’ project dubbed ‘Masks 4 All’, an initiative that seeks to avail masks at an affordable cost to the general public while providing them at no cost to the most vulnerable women in markets, young people in slums, boarders, barracks and refugee centres.

Jamila Mayanja, the Smart Uganda Project Lead said: “In April, while addressing the nation on Covid-19 for the second time, President Yoweri Museveni directed that markets remain open as long as the vendors set up camp in them and not move to their homes. Markets tend to be congested and women make up the majority population putting them at a higher risk of contracting the virus because of their day-to-day interaction with people like producers, customers, and some of their family members.

“Through this intervention, Smart Girls designed a reusable three-layer mask and a bottle of hand sanitizer which we are giving to these high at-risk population groups at no cost.”

The initiative started making masks in March 2020. It employs the youth and women, among whom are former sex workers and survivors of gender-based violence who had been trained in tailoring before the COVID-19 pandemic.

Tenge Afrocentric Fashion House founder and chief executive officer, Daniel Mickoh, said: “Through this initiative, we are looking to scale up and make more protective gear and distribute them all over the country with a target of reaching one million people. We are using the guidance of Uganda police and local leaders to help in the distribution.

She added: “This process will also include awareness sessions using community radios and public media on how to use the masks and other safety measures when the lock down is lifted.”

Geoffrey Rwakabale, the Town Clerk for Kampala Central Division said masks are an essential tool in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic, and will remain essential even after the lockdown.

“The vulnerable in our communities may not be able to afford them and it is therefore imperative that organisations offer such initiatives to bridge this gap,” Mr Rwakabale said.

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank Smart Girl Uganda and all its partners for this initiative and call on other like-minded organizations to work together to help in the prevention and mitigation of the virus.”

Alongside other recommended measures such as mass testing and contact tracing, masks will play a vital role in ending the ongoing lockdown, helping the economy return to normal and avoiding a second wave of coronavirus infections.

About MASKS-4-ALL

MASKS-4-ALL is an initiative of Smart Girls Uganda, Tenge Collections and Hope Hub, in partnership with NBS (Next Media), Safe Boda, Spe Taxi Cab. It aims at addressing Covid-19 by providing masks at an affordable cost to the general public while donating to the most vulnerable women in markets, young people in slums, boarders, barracks, and refugee centres at no cost.

For more information contact Primrose Kiberu on prim@primandking.com or on +256 (0)757 430 304