The Mask Makers

The Mask Makers

Image courtesy of Ballo,

We’re calling for volunteers to make masks to reduce COVID-19 transmission in high risk areas.

You can join us in serving our city by sewing masks to be distributed for free in communities where people are not able to purchase personal protective equipment.

The Western Cape Department of Health has stated the need for cloth masks to reduce transmission of COVID-19. With the current and forecasted case load of patients, all medical grade personal protective equipment (PPE) must be prioritised for use by health care workers. The general public has been urged to use cloth face masks as an additional measure to hand washing, social distancing and the stipulated hygiene practices. Read more on the science and policy behind cloth masks here.

The big idea around this project is to enable volunteers to be making cloth face masks to be distributed (for free) within communities that are facing a higher risk of contracting COVID-19.

The burden of COVID-19 will be most felt by those in under-resourced areas. There are so many who live in crowded communities and dwellings, who can only use public transport, who cannot realistically afford hand sanitisers, who have to share toilets and taps, for whom social distancing, as advocated by our health department, is simply unrealistic and unsustainable. We cannot change decades of inequality and the structure of the city right now. The idea of this project is to give men, women and children who find themselves in these situations additional resources and information to reduce the transmission of the virus.

To be clear, these masks are for non-medical staff, and will be accompanied by official WCDOH information about usage and cleaning, in multiple languages. Watch this video to see how the Czech Republic mobilised people to make millions of masks

In churches across our city are trained men and women who have sewing machines, skills and the time to be able to make cloth face masks. Through our existing relational networks and connections, the church can collectively and sacrificially serve and bless many. There are many people who want to help but are not able to procure materials and distribute masks to those who need them.

This is where Common Good fits in. We have the relevant permissions to procure and distribute the right materials, collect the finished masks and distribute them within communities who need them most. As the connector, we ensure the masks made in your household reach another household who needs them.

A final thought…

Making and distributing cloth masks will not eradicate COVID-19, but it will put a tool in the hands of people who wouldn’t otherwise have access to this kind of protective barrier. We believe it will contribute to slowing the spread and to keeping medical-grade supplies in the hands of those who need them most.

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Comments (20)

  • Joy Wright

    I am willing to sew. Dont have materials though………

    17/04/2020 at 17:39
    • Christine Van Wyk

      Thanks Joy! could you please fill out the Sign Up form and we’ll contact you by COB based on the details you provide.

      20/04/2020 at 10:39
  • EMMA

    I would love to make some masks, I have a sewing machine and fabric, but no more elastic. I have made some of the pleated versions for myself already. Please contact me for delivery of the elastic.

    17/04/2020 at 18:16
    • Christine Van Wyk

      Thanks Emma! could you please fill out the Sign Up form and we’ll contact you by COB based on the details you provide.

      20/04/2020 at 10:38
  • Carla Kleynhans

    I would like to be part of the mask makers

    18/04/2020 at 20:13
    • Christine Van Wyk

      Wonderful Carla, welcome aboard! We have your sign up and will be in touch today!

      20/04/2020 at 10:36
    • Claire Mitchley

      I have made a few masks for personal use and an happy to make more. I have fabric and some elastic for now.

      20/04/2020 at 17:30
      • Christine Van Wyk

        Hi Claire, thanks a million! I’ll pop you an email to arrange collection

        21/04/2020 at 09:13
  • Kamari de Rijk

    My mother has already made 40 with your requirements and they are ready for distribution. They just need to be collected. How can we get them to you?

    20/04/2020 at 17:04
    • Christine Van Wyk

      Amazing! I’ll pop you an email now!

      20/04/2020 at 17:06
  • Chantal Snyman

    Hi Christine. The pattern has 4 straps but the pictures in this post have elastic, which should we use and if elastic, how long should each piece be?

    21/04/2020 at 23:15
    • Christine Van Wyk

      Hiya Chantal,
      Sorry for the late reply! To replace the ties with the elastic, the top elastic gets pinned to the two top ‘tie’ placement markings on the pattern.
      And the bottom elastic gets pinned to the two bottom ‘tie’ placement markings on the pattern.

      As for the length, start with 30 cm (with 1-2cm sewn inside) and then we suggest you make and finish one to get familiar with the process and then fit it on your head and face. Well be ironing and disinfecting prior to distribution.

      22/04/2020 at 12:46
  • Janine Vadas

    Hi I said I can make. I can’t get elastic and the fabric I found is thin red for inside but don’t have a thicker fabric for outside mask 😷 .

    Please could you deliver. 802 Bannockburn, V & A Marina – The Bluff,
    Waterfront. You leave with security and I’ll collect from them.

    22/04/2020 at 13:14
    • Christine Van Wyk

      Morning Janine,

      I’ve added you to the list for delivery. You will have email correspondence from us in the next 30mins

      23/04/2020 at 10:01
  • Margriet Knaap

    Hi, tomorrow morning I hope to finish 50 masks. You are invited to collect them.

    22/04/2020 at 16:11
    • Christine Van Wyk

      Morning Margriet,

      THANK YOU SO MUCH, we’d love to collect! Please fill out this form so we can arrange collection.
      here is the form –>

      23/04/2020 at 10:00
  • Margriet Knaap

    I cannot down load the form and the 50 masks are ready. I can give my address.

    23/04/2020 at 15:34
    • Christine Van Wyk

      Hi Margriet, I’ll pop you an email now 🙂

      23/04/2020 at 18:51


    27/04/2020 at 20:12
    • Christine Van Wyk

      It’s not too late at all! thanks so much for getting involved Cathy! See you soon!

      04/05/2020 at 18:21

Comments are closed.