Dar es Salaam — The coronavirus pandemic has caused a shortage in many supplies in many parts of the World, including face masks in Tanzania.
It is as a result that Rania Nasser, a high school student, founded the group Barakoa Tz to distribute free masks to those in need.
Initially the intention was to make a dozen or so masks for the police station close to her home.
Within a week, the requests for masks increased dramatically, so Rania decided that she was going to need help. She put out a call to friends and family for help.
It has now been a few weeks since Barakoa Tz started and since then through the group, she has made and donated over 1,000 masks to orphanages, care givers, law enforcers, and those in need.
According to her this has been made possible through the countless hours of sewing by our volunteers and the generosity with support of donors.
Rania has brought together numerous volunteers. She has people sewing in Mwanza, Dodoma, and Dar es Salaam distributing masks everywhere. Even with many volunteers, she is still calling out for more volunteers that can sew.
"Even if you don't sew fast, that's fine because one mask can save multiple lives," she says.
When it comes to fabric donations, Rania Nasser said that she does get all different kinds of patterns and will take any kind of fabric that she can lay her hands on as long as it is cotton.
"Stretch knit fabric allows more particles to get through, which isn't what you want with a facemask," she says.
She is also now making more masks for children and calling out for more children fabric designs with Mickey Mouse or other patterns.
Another thing Barakoa Tz is looking forward to delivering are small kits where families that can sew can put together their masks themselves.
Rania Nasser said it is a very easy thing to put together and she will deliver these kits with instructions to people throughout Dar es Salaam.