During a lockdown, it is imperative for a society to make sure the most vulnerable in the community are being looked after.
The Sanctuary Mask Initiative (SMI) in Cork, Ireland began with the aim to empower skilled seamstresses to sew hygiene masks for people living in Direct Provision (group accommodation centres in Ireland for asylum seekers and refugees) and other vulnerable populations in the community, including the elderly in nursing homes. The production of the masks is undertaken by seamstresses living within the Direct Provision Accommodation system. The initiative is designed to harness their strengths, recognising their agency in responding to the Covid-19 crisis.
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