The Minister of Health of Ethiopia, Dr. Lia Tadesse, visited the tailoring unit at EiTEX, University of Bahirdar in the Amhara Region of Ethiopia recently. 23 of the tailoring trainees in the Farm to Fashion project have volunteered to join the larger EiTEX team with special permission and adherence to safety and health guidelines, and with safe transportation. They are making masks and PPE for health workers at Bahirdar maintaining all protocols for hygiene, distancing, and safety under the supervision of Project Manager Mervin Joseph and trainer Gunapal Shetty (on deputation from Industree Foundation, India). The volunteers have been making 2000 face masks per day since Mid-March, and now make a mix of full body PPE suits and masks, which will continue through June.
These trainees are being trained and equipped for forming a producer owned tailoring company to be incubated in EiTEX, under “Supporting Indian Trade and Investment for Africa” (SITA) funded by the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development, implemented by the International Trade Centre (ITC). Industree Foundation, India, is ITC’s technical partner and EiTEX is one of its important local stakeholders.
Dr. Tadesse thanked EiTEX for taking the initiative to support the health sector as a whole and the physicians putting themselves at risk during the pandemic. She recognized the importance of this work and contribution to society, particularly crucial due to the shortage of mask supply.
Trainer Gunapal Shetty commented on the experience working with the trainees, expressing his gratitude for their enthusiasm and dedication. He shared his thoughts on the opportunity to be of service during the pandemic, saying, “This was my greatest experience working for the nation and humanity. I am feeling happy and satisfied for the contribution served at this time of need. Trainees Habtamu Abebe Mekuanint and Wude Demelash Wondim expressed their gratitude to ITC’s SITA “Farm to Fashion” project for the opportunity to learn new skills, and the pride that they feel for contributing to their country and protecting the lives of others.
#artisans #livelihoods #businessnotasusual #farmtofashionethiopia #covid19