This initiative operates in Columbia providing a reusable cotton
face mask to day laborers and individuals at high risk of the transmission of the coronavirus. The program targets low income individuals who come in contact with a large number of people each day. Cartagena Columbia is a world heritage site and has approximately 2 million visitors each year with cruise ships, planes, buses and local tourism.
This initiative is designed to give access to basic harm reduction tools to protect against coronavirus transmission. A significant community subgroup that is most vulnerable is low income, daily/hourly laborers, often who live hand to mouth to survive. One day without work could mean their family may not eat that day or they could lose their home. Having no other choice they risk their lives going to work or accepting jobs of any kind simply because they have no other option for the survival of themselves and their family. These are the bus drivers, taxi drivers, hotel maids, street vendors, day laborers or any worker who is in a situation where they earn low wages and receive no support from their employer. For this sector of the community having basic protection against the transmission of the virus is too costly or simply not available. For many of these people a reusable face mask is their only protection from inhaling the virus. It also protects the community if the recipient is infected and has not sought medical attention.
The face masks are produced by local seamstresses and distributed by local outreach organizations. Education about how to correctly use the mask is provided as well as information about best practices to reduce the transmission of the virus.
Click here to visit the information portal. (Spanish only).