Soroptimist International Esperance saw a need to increase awareness of advisable behaviour during Covid 19, and began an education campaign through Facebook, Instagram and YouTube. Through the information shared, followers were enabled and empowered to learn a new way of living to adapt to the “new normal.” The public had to quickly learn a different way of life during the Covid-19 pandemic. We educated our communities on safety issues associated with Covid-19 on the SI Esperance Facebook page and on Instagram with shared and original posts. People were advised to wear masks, social distancing and the importance of staying at home whenever possible.
We also made a YouTube videos celebrating front line workers entitled ‘Thank You to our Heroes’ featuring our own front line workers.
During Mental Health Week, we focused our posts on coping strategies to help us to stay centred.
The Kindness YouTube video was made in collaboration with Raquel Matthews of Psychologists for the Growing Mind Ltd who had previously worked with us on a mental health project. She prepared an 8-minute voice over, a Soroptimist sourced suitable photographs and the package was created by our videographer to celebrate Kindness, the theme of Mental Health Week.
The Kindness video was viewed over 5,000 times on Facebook and the Soroptimist International Esperance YouTube Channel where it can now be viewed. Many viewers agreed,
“This was really inspirational!”
Sewing to Save Lives
The objectives of the project were to join in global efforts to help prevent the spread of COVID-19; to economically empower unemployed women in our communities with children to provide for; to assist in the global campaign to educate the general public on the importance of wearing a face mask when leaving home; to supply masks free of charge to disadvantaged members of the community. The accompanying social media campaign also developed the awareness of the need for social distancing, correct hand washing and the need to shelter in safety.
SI Esperance acquired 3 Brother XL2800 sewing machines from InterClub of T&T, purchased fabric, thread, elastic and supplied face mask patterns. We identified and contacted vulnerable women who had knowledge of sewing. The machines, fabric and notions were collected by the women.
We followed up on the initiative, monitoring their progress/problems via telephone and WhatsApp due to social distancing. The masks were presented for distribution to the councillors of the rural communities. Our migrant participant distributed within her community and continued to use the sewing machine to produce masks for sale, thus financially empowering the La Romaine Migrant Support group.
Our migrant participant continues to use the sewing machine to produce masks for sale, thus financially empowering the La
Romaine Migrant Support group. The donated machine enabled one women to accept a contract from a company to produce
face masks. The third participant now makes masks as well as pot holders and other kitchen linens for sale in her community
to support her family.
Many people are now educated about the importance of mask-wearing, hand washing and social distancing to prevent the spread of COVID-19 through our social media campaign. Many gained access to free reusable masks in their rural communities. The newspaper reports raised the profile of Soroptimism.
One of the recipients said,
“I am grateful…to be of service to my community and country in some small way…When I was told that it would be mine afterwards it came as a wonderful surprise” “I thank all the members of Soroptimist International Esperance for this great opportunity…to earn an honest income to provide for my family.”