26 Jun Mamas Making Masks

Sarah K., a 32-year old mother of 4, wasn’t sure how she and her husband would make ends meet when the government closed schools and other businesses due to the COVID-19 pandemic. For the past 10 years, Sarah has sewn school uniforms for the families in her village. Between her tailoring business and their 1-acre maize farm, the Kiruis were able to afford shelter, food, and school for their cherished children.

Sarah took pride in the fact that not only could she help support her family, but she provided a service to her neighbors. She provided quality school uniforms for a price they could afford. She was helping her community.

“Most of my customers are my neighbors. Buying school uniforms from the shops is expensive so they buy the fabric and bring it to me to make the clothes,” Sarah says. “They also bring their clothes to me to mend them,” she adds. After ten years of tailoring she had become the ‘go to’ tailor in her village.

Then the pandemic hit and everything changed. When the schools closed, there was no longer a need for uniforms. She lost her business and the ability to provide for her children. It became difficult to even put food on the table.

But thanks to Sarah’s resourcefulness to meet an immediate need in her community, she is using her skills as a tailor to provide for her family and help her community.

Sarah spearheaded an effort among other women in our Kenyan Communities to use their skills to sew much needed masks. With social distancing and other health measures in place, Sarah and several other women spend hours each day sewing high quality masks which they then sell to local shops and their neighbors at affordable prices.

“I can feed my children and help the people of my community stay safe.”

This is but one example of the resourcefulness and character of our beloved Kenyan families. With the help of our supporters and partners, they are proving just how resilient they are in the face of a crisis.