01 Oct 20
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The Sogeri Face Masks Project aims to empower the local women in Sogeri, Papua New Guinea (PNG), by developing a micro-industry over a 24 week period. The project will produce cloth face masks for distribution to the local community. Stage one of the project began October 2020 with a target of 3,750 face masks, while stage two commenced in March 2021 accruing another 3,750 face masks. The face masks will be distributed to adults and children in need of face masks due to the current COVID-19 pandemic.
After stage one was completed in December 2020, an extension of this project was made possible in March 2021 for another twelve weeks. This ensured the team additional employment, at a time where employment is difficult to acquire. Consequently, the project's extension resulted in thousands of more face masks being produced and distributed to people in need.
This project is now a segue to developing a larger and advanced ‘empowering women’ micro-industry concept in the Sogeri and surrounding areas. This project would encourage the current seamstresses to take on an active leadership role to employ, assist and lead the newer seamstresses. Products developed could begin with face masks and sanitary packages, at the initial stage, while advancing to clothing for the more skilled seamstresses. This would ensure that the seamstresses are not competing with each other for income, with the selling of the same products in the same area.
As of June 2021 over 12,000 face masks have been produced to help protect local communities from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Wearing a mask helps you to protect yourself and your loved ones from COVID-19.
Through the PNGAusPartnership - No Roads Expedition Foundation is working with the Kokoda Initiative on its second stage of the face mask project in Papua New Guinea.
These reusable face masks reduce the risk of COVID-19 and protect students and teachers in school, enabling them to continue their education.
The project also creates a micro-industry for five local seamstresses from Sogeri in Central Province, at a time when employment opportunities have been limited by the pandemic.
So far, more than 5,000 face masks have been produced with the standard pattern and guidelines complying with recommended World Health Organisation standards.
These face masks have been distributed to all 60 schools and 14 health facilities across the Kokoda track region.