The UbuntuCare initiative is currently being scaled up, but already provides employment for 150 seamstresses. As the demand for reusable fabric masks increases, more employment opportunities will be created across the country.
Analysts predict that the wearing of masks will remain mandatory well into 2021, therefore the short-term goal of the initiative is to upskill and employ 400 seamstresses and other craftspeople by mid-2021.
Should the wearing of masks become non-compulsory, the UbuntuCare initiative will continue to be sustainable by responding to other societal needs and challenges, such as supporting the communities that have been accessed through the initiative for mainstream manufacturing and providing a platform for them to showcase their skills and abilities.
For example, beaders, embroiderers, printers, fine metal workers, innovative produce growers and other entrepreneurs who all currently operate in isolation in vulnerable communities will receive exposure to a mainstream market to help in converting their trade into sustainable and profitable enterprises.
UbuntuCare is intended to evolve into a more holistic initiative – masks are the springboard for seeking out and marketing untapped talent and skills within impoverished communities. In addition, the seamstresses and all future community members engaged in the initiative will be offered free training and supported as volunteer Wellness Champions to promote health and well-being within their communities.
Empowering disadvantaged communities toward economic and health development will not only facilitate their socio-economic improvement, but also the outlook of the next generation. By tapping the potential of women and men through investing in awareness generation, capacity building and promoting access to market, UbuntuCare maximises community well-being.