#FACEUPTOCOVID19 campaign provides cloth face masks to SAs most vulnerable
Photo Cred: Afrika Tikkun

Because millions of South Africans do not have access to a face mask, Africa Tikkun has launched the #FaceUpToCovid19 campaign in the spirit of Ubuntu.


Johannesburg, South Africa (23 April 2020) – In response to Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize’s call for all South Africans to wear cloth face masks to help flatten the COVID-19 curve, NGO Afrika Tikkun is today launching the #FACEUPTOCOVID19 campaign. The campaign calls on all South Africans to join together to save lives and help protect the nation by stopping the spread of the virus.

Afrika Tikkun is appealing to all citizens to ensure that everyone across the country has access to face masks. A R20 donation equals one mask.

With over 2.5 million cases of Coronavirus reported globally and almost 3500 confirmed cases in South Africa, President Cyril Ramaphosa and his government have displayed unparalleled leadership and acted swiftly to confront the pandemic. The lockdown measures that have been put in place have largely been supported by a patriotic public who have been illustrating their active citizenship by staying at home to protect the most vulnerable in society. 

Those who are at home under lockdown may be searching for a way to contribute as they feel helpless in the fight.

“There is something we can all do – help make sure that everyone in our country has access to a reusable, cloth face mask. By contributing to this initiative, and wearing a mask yourself, you are no longer disempowered – you have the power to do something. You have the power to FACE UP to COVID19 and make a difference by saving lives and helping to stop the spread of the virus” says Precious Nala, Afrika Tikkun Marketing Manager.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advises wearing a simple cloth face covering to slow the spread of the virus and help people who may have the virus and do not know it from transmitting it to others. They particularly recommend the wearing of masks in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain, especially in areas of significant community-based transmission. 

Millions of destitute South African’s are reliant on public transport and live in densely populated townships and informal settlements. They do not have access to a face mask. This disparity leaves these communities vulnerable and exposed, but providing them with masks will help bolster their arsenal.

“The #FACEUPTOCOVID19 campaign will provide each recipient with two cloth face masks in a sealed package, and advise them to the wear one while washing the second one. Each pack will also include a safety and educational pamphlet; detailing how to wear, remove and clean the masks, safely. Our education drive will also reinforce that handwashing, sanitising and social distancing remain critically important and that wearing a mask alone, is not enough of a precautionary measure,” says Nala.

The #FACEUPTOCOVID19 masks are designed to have two cotton layers and a filter layer. They are either locally sourced or hand-made, to ensure the campaign is reinvesting in the local economy. A blended model has been adopted by partnering with both larger production facilities to ensure we meet demand and urgency; as well as by supporting small businesses and individuals to stimulate employment and development, on a grassroots level. 

Afrika Tikkun’s Cradle to Career 360° model provides holistic development to disadvantaged communities. Their support services include primary healthcare; nutrition and food security; social support, and empowerment. The #FACEUPTOCOVID19 campaign forms part of their plight to develop, uplift, and champion the rights and freedoms of young people in underprivileged communities. The organisation is also involved in numerous other initiatives to assist in the fight against COVID-19. One includes the provision of food and basic essentials for those living in informal settlements and lower-income communities with more than 30 000 food parcels provided over the past few weeks.

“This is our collective fight; we have the power to make a difference to our fellow citizens in our plight to #FACEUPTOCOVID19. We are stronger together. It’s time for us all to FACE UP to COVID19 and save lives,” concludes Nala. 

Wear a face mask and visit www.FACEUPTOCOVID19.co.za to donate R20 towards a cloth face mask for someone in need.

Let’s FACE UP to COVID19 together. 

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Recognised as one of the Mail and Guardian’s Top 200 Young South African’s as well as a Primedia LeadSA Hero, Brent is a change maker, thought leader, radio host, foodie, vlogger, writer and all round good guy.

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