When women in the Moria refugee camp first heard about COVID-19, they knew they couldn't wait for Greece or the EU to act. Working out of Team Humanity’s Hope & Peace Center, they designed and produced face masks to protect themselves and their neighbours.
Their operation was so successful that they started supporting fellow asylum seekers in camps across Europe.
In June 2020, when protests broke out across the U.S. in support of Black Lives Matter, they started looking at what they could do to show solidarity with others who are impacted by the effects of racism in our global society.
An initial batch of 10,000 masks were sent and distributed among organizations operating across the United States, including homeless shelters, food banks, indigenous reservations, medical facilities on the southern border, and women's shelters, and the idea for Refugees Care was born.
Now these makers want to protect the world.
Our starting goal is to fund, make, and distribute 100,000 masks to people in need around the world by October 1st.
Help us protect communities near and far:
About the masks
Made to withstand the extremes of a refugee camp environment, we're sure they'll hold up just about anywhere.
The masks are most similar in style to hand-crafted cotton facemasks, but the material they are made from leaves fewer gaps for particles to pass through. You can read the facts about them at the end of this section.
When to use them
We recommend our masks for the following use cases:
- Everyday use
Walking around town, on public transit, in shops, at socially distant gatherings, and at work. These masks are particularly well suited for many essential jobs such as delivering food or attending a checkout lane at the grocery store.
- For aid workers
In situations with limited contact, such as socially distanced planning meetings, cooking/preparing supplies, and during distributions.
- As an eco-friendly solution
Our masks are cheaper and more environmentally friendly to distribute than single-use surgical masks. Most importantly, they meet the ongoing need for masks.
- As a PPE alternative
As a "best alternative" to proper PPE when absolutely necessary.
When not to use them
We do not recommend our masks for the following use cases:
- For extended periods in confined spaces
For any job that puts you in close contact with strangers for over 15 minutes, especially if the stranger(s) may or may not be wearing a mask, or if you're in a confined environment which prevents social distancing. Based on what we know of COVID-19, this is a higher risk environment and your workplace should supply you with appropriate PPE.
- For medical professionals
For medical professionals, as replacements to medical-grade masks such as N95s.
Our masks are made with a 70mm non-woven fabric that meets certain EU and U.S. environmental and consumer-safety standards.
The non-woven spun-bound fabric is produced from polypropylene and contains a UV stabilizer. The fabric itself passed the OEKO-TEX Standard 100 inspection for product class 1, which tests around 100 parameters to prove that it's safe for human contact.
Passing inspection also means that the fabric meets or exceeds international standards, including the requirements of Annex XVII of REACH in the EU (the use of azo-dyes, nickel, etc), as well as CPSIA regulating the total content of lead in children's articles in the USA.
You can check the fabric used for our masks by entering the label number
11-33771 in the
OEKO-TEX Label Check.
Support this project
Empower communities to protect themselves! Every US$2.50 donated gets a reusable mask to a grassroots organisation with deep local roots.
Everyone should be able to protect themselves, and this is an opportunity to support a sustainable and ethical project that is building solidarity across borders.
We are looking to support community / grassroots organizations, Indigenous peoples, and medical professionals working at under-resourced facilities.
Eligible organizations can purchase masks at-cost (meaning you only pay exactly as much as it costs to make the masks), or apply to receive masks for free by completing the forms below.
Buy Masks At-Cost
Masks are available for US$2.50 each, which includes shipping all the way to you. There is a minimum order of 1,000 masks (US$2,500) to keep this manageable for our volunteers. Can't meet the minimum? Get your community involved and go in on an order with other local organizations! Questions? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
At-cost... for free... Why not both! You can always purchase some masks at-cost now AND sign up for our needs assessment to receive free masks later.
Requests Masks For Free
Please complete the form to be included in our needs assessment! If your group or organization is eligible, our team will follow up via email when masks become available. Allocations are made on a weekly basis. We hope that you understand why we cannot guarantee if you will receive free masks, how many you'll receive, and how long they will take to get to you.
There is no minimum or maximum request, though we do encourage you to ask for 1 - 3 months worth of masks. If you have funding, please consider purchasing masks at-cost so that we may reserve our free masks for groups with no alternatives.
Frequently asked questions
For general inquiries, questions or concerns,
please contact us at email@example.com.
Who is involved?
Refugees Care is a collaborative project between grassroots organizations in Europe and the USA.
The heart and soul of this project are the women who make these masks, and the people who receive them. The rest of us simply help get them on their way.