Production of face masks provide income to the participants in PfC´s weaving project in Ethiopia and their most important client, Paradise Fashion. So far, 3,500 masks have been sold, and demand is rising in a country where use of masks now is mandatory.
The production of face masks helps to secure the future of our joint efforts aimed at marginalized women.
“We hope this initiative will help save Paradise Fashion, as well as contribute to the livelihood of the most marginalized women who work in the weaving mill. This is very important also in the long term, since Paradise Fashion as a social entrepreneur plays a crucial role in the value chain PfC has helped to create around the weaving mill in Gullele”, Ms. Anne-Karin Nygård, director of PfC, says.
For the past three years, PfC’s partner Paradise Fashion has been the most important client for the weaving business in Gullele. When the corona epidemic broke out this spring, Paradise Fashion had to close their outlet in Addis Abeba. At the same time, sales in their online store
dropped dramatically. With a lack of income, they could not maintain the orders to the weaving mill. The business was threatened with bankruptcy, and a number of women were in danger of losing their livelihoods – an effect seen over large parts of Africa. According to the UN Development Program, as much as half of all jobs on the African continent could disappear as a result of the corona crisis. Small and medium-sized companies are particularly vulnerable. Many people lose their income overnight, people starve and the situation is worrying. The informal sector is particularly hard hit.
The use of face masks is now mandatory in Ethiopia, as part of preventing the spread of the corona virus. Paradise Fashion and PfC saw an opportunity to contribute and at the same time make money. With the support of one of PfC’s financial partners in Norway, A Richer Life Foundation, the production of masks has started. This involves 25 of the women who work in the weaving mill.
“We are lucky to have a financial partner associated with the weaving mill, A Richer Life Foundation, who sees the need to reallocate project funds to support the reorganization of the business of Paradise Fashion. The production of face masks helps to secure the future of our joint efforts aimed at marginalized women. At the same time, the weavers receive income even though the weaving mill’s other activities are temporarily closed.” Ms. Anne-Karin Nygård says.
The demand for face masks is rising in Ethiopia. The women in the weaving mill help to weave material for the masks. The residents in the area where the weaving mill is located live under difficult sanitary conditions, and many cannot afford to buy face masks. To help prevent the spread of the corona virus, 500 masks have been donated to the residents in this area.