Gloria Quive (YES 2014-15, Mozambique, hosted by AFS-USA in Ridgefield, WA) was looking for ways to acquire new skills during her time at home. She has always had an interest in sewing, an interest encouraged by her mother who taught her some basics such as hand sewing, taking measurements, and how to customize clothes. After taking an online sewing class, Gloria began making face masks at the request of family and friends. Though Mozambique is partially on lockdown, many people still need to keep working to support their families. Using capulana (an African fabric recommended by the Ministry of Heath), she began creating three-layer, washable, reusable masks and donating them to friends.
The masks proved so popular that others in the neighborhood began requesting them, with many offering to pay. Gloria has now started a small social venture, making more face masks than ever, with the money raised used to buy more fabric and supplies and distribute approximately 40% of the masks for free to those in need. To date, she has distributed over 150 masks to the community. Her friend and neighbor, Meque Seifane, loved the idea and joined the initiative by producing small paper bags to put the face masks in when handing them to people. The bags are more environmentally friendly than plastic bags.
Gloria was inspired to create her venture by the knowledge and skills she gained at the YES Alumni Social Entrepreneur Changemakers workshop she attended in August 2019. She writes, "I didn't know this small project would have this magnitude of impact! This has been an awesome experience on gaining new skills while helping others during these hard times that the world is going through. Stay positive and try to take the time to strengthen your relationships with family, community, and your friends near and far. My special thank you goes to my mom and my siblings for this experience as a family and to my dad for the support and encouragement. Thank you YES program for training us to be positive thinkers and changemakers.”