Mission agency-backed craft business in Tanzania shifts production to masks and face shields

Posted May 15, 2020

[Anglican Communion News Service] A small business staffed by men and women with disabilities making craft items in Tanzania has halted its normal production process and is now turning out personal protective equipment (PPE) for the country’s medical workers. Neema Crafts, pioneered and led by the Church Mission Society, made the switch in January and is now manufacturing PPE for Tanzania’s hospitals, medical centers and key front-line workers.

They workers are now producing 800 masks, 120 face shields and 50 gowns per week, from the safety of their own homes. With no national health service in Tanzania, the aim is to protect the lives of front-line workers against COVID-19 and to support the livelihoods of people with disabilities in the Iringa region as they work from home, CMS said.

“We are proud of how the team at Neema Crafts have risen to the challenge of producing PPE,” CMS mission partners Ben and Katy Ray, the directors of Neema Crafts, said. “It will ensure our disabled artisans continue to receive an income and it could mean the difference between life and death for hospital workers in our region.”