Coronavirus is impacting us all massively, but spare a moment to think about those in rural Madagascar, noted by the World Bank as the poorest country in the World. Here there are few health services, many people’s immune systems are already compromised, mortality rates are among the worst in the World and communication systems, to tell people about the virus and how to avoid it, are poor. It is predicted as much as 10% of the population may die from coronavirus.
SEED Madagascar are a UK-based charity who have been carrying out humanitarian and environmental work on the island for the last 20 years. Amongst the projects they have helped set up is a Cooperative called Stitch Sainte Luce.
Stitch Sainte Luce is a women’s cooperative, which has taught embroidery, as well as business skills in maths, sales and English language, to over 100 women, so that they can produce and sell the products to help bring an income to families in the poorest country in the world, where almost 80% of the population lives on less the $1.90 per day.
The beautiful and unique handcrafted products, which Stitch Sainte Luce produce, are now sold online and include cushion covers, purses, ties and bracelets.
Now however, the women’s skills are being put to another use. They are helping make much needed face masks for those on the island, during the coronavirus crisis… but they need your help and support.
There are a number of ways to support the initiative. The products the women made before the crisis are still available to buy online, and all proceeds from their sale go directly to the Cooperative and helping with the production of masks. Visit the Stitch website to find out more.
You can also make a donation directly to the Masks for Madagascar appeal, whether a financial contribution or, if you have the skills to make them yourself, 100% cotton facemasks. You can find details on how to make the masks through the Masks for Madagascar link.