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No matter how many masks are – they are still missing. Someone sews for himself, and someone sews for others as well.


Entrepreneurs, teachers and young workers are sewing facemasks in Marinka district.

Ten volunteers from Kurakhovo produced 2.500 reusable gauze masks in two weeks and gave them to those, who need the most help and attention. The materials were purchased at the expense of the city council. All not indifferent got some work: someone cut the material, folded, cut the elastics; others disassembled the workpieces and sewed at home.

Kateryna Volkodavets at work

Kateryna Volkodavets, a head of «380 V» youth center, sewed hundreds of masks in a few days:

– I have a sewing machine at home, and I am good in sewing. There is more free time during quarantine, so I decided to help. The masks were sewed according to the instructions from the Internet, with eight layers of gauze, on ties or elastic bands.

One and a half hundred masks were sewn at the school sewing workshop of the Secondary School No. 5 by handicraft teacher Iryna Semyklit and art teacher Mariia Kartechieva.

– The process is quite laborious, but during the swine flu pandemic in 2009, we had to sew masks, so I knew how to do it, – Mariia says. – The material was provided to us, there are sewing machines at the school, so if necessary we will sew again. Today at the pharmacy I asked the pharmacist about the masks, she said there would not appear any masks on sale soon. In addition, the elderly cannot purchase the required number of masks, which cost 20 UAH. By the way, masks can be sewn from cloth. At the beginning of the year, we sewed a combination of gauze and cloth, from gauze and white coarse calico. They are more durable, but of course, the cost is higher.

Masks made by Maksymilianivka’s volunteers

In Maksymilianivka village, 7 kilometers from Kurakhovo, Inna Darahan an entrepreneur, owner of massage room, turned to youth center «Meksyka» with the initiative to sew masks.

– With the beginning of quarantine, the massage room stopped working; I had a cloth that was used to make medical clothing and hygienic products. So, I turned to the not indifferent residents of the village with an offer to sew masks for those in need, because I can not sew and do not have sewing machine. Serhii Dereka, Yuliia and Stanislav Kuzhel, Ilona Kalynka have responded. With the help of the village council and Stela Bohinska, we purchased agrotextile for the filter and have sewed more than 300 masks. The material is left, we are planning to sew further, – an entrepreneur says.

According to her, masks made by volunteers are better than pharmacy-sold because agrotextile were sewn between layers of material. In addition, volunteers adhered to the standards and sewed masks measuring 19×20 cm. Masks of this size tightly close mouth and nose to the ears, but pharmacy-sold do not always protect the face completely.

– We have nice three-layer masks, on the street people approached us and said: give us your mask, I do not want to wear the pharmacy-sold, – Ilona Kalynka, a volunteer laughs who sewed 80 masks by herself.

Masks made by volunteers were distributed to residents of Maksymilianivka, who were unable to buy extra, volunteers left masks in stores and the village council, and handed over to the employees of the district military commissariat.

According to Serhii Dereka, a head of center «Meksyka», the volunteers have set up a local support group in Viber and are planning to deliver elderly food and hygienic products from the store so that the high-risk people do not go outside and be exposed to danger. No one has applied yet, but volunteers are also ready to help social workers visiting single pensioners.

– In the event of an outbreak in the village, we have even provided protective means and disinfectants for the volunteers themselves, who will help people, – Inna Darahan reports about the readiness.

In Krasnohorivka village masks are made by Olha Kytsmaniuk, Svitlana Mozhaieva and Nataliia Lahina, seamstresses of «Veselka» art studio.

– Due to quarantine, there are no classes in the art studio, but we decided to keep busy, – Olha Kytsmaniuk, a head of the art studio said. – We had a cloth – volunteers from all over the country, have sent a few years ago and brought it for embroideries and rag dolls made by our pupils. So, the cotton chintz was just waiting for its time. The masks were very nice from this cotton, comfortable, with moving elastics. More than 300 masks were distributed for a week. We are planning to sew more masks while looking for elastic bands, there are enough cloth.

Iryna DIMITROVA/Gromkor Gromada Skhid No. 7 (16) 2020



Residents from villages of Pryazovia decided to be helpful, because who else if not they?

Seamstresses of a sewing mini-workshop from Orlovske village, they are also members of the government organization “We Will Live” Larysa Peretiatko and Kateryna Kyrylova started to make facemasks for the needs of the villagers even when their wearing was not obligatory. They bought the latest gauze at their expense and started to sew. They sewed, and then distributed to relatives, neighbors.

While in Myrne village under the management of the head of the government organization “Modern Nation” Oleksandr Yarotskyi, volunteers printed out informational leaflets on how to protect against the virus. They were pasting near the entrances of each apartment building of Myrne, distributed to people on the street, handed over for distribution to the shops of the neighboring Novoselivka.

Seamstresses from Svobodne village are sewing in three shifts

And then the whole “Modern Nation” chipped in together to the gauze, Svitlana Skovalchynska and Svitlana Romanovska, as well as Oksana Marmur and Olena Horyshniak started sewing masks at home. When there were no gauze – they started using the cloth that was. More than 150 facemasks were distributed to the elderly, and then – just to everyone, with explanations how, how long it is necessary to wear the mask, and how then to treat it.

This example was inspired by local businesswoman Alla Kononenko, who provided parishes of the local church with masks.

The material run out but the need for masks left. At that time, they agreed to cooperate with the humanitarian mission «Proliska».

– Now we are waiting for material and accessories for sewing about 3.000 masks. Some of them will remain with us, and the rest the mission will distribute to other front-line settlements, – Oleksandr Yarotskyi says. – We plan to transfer a certain number of masks to the post office. People will come to get a pension or pay for a communal utility, and will take masks.

Participants of cutting and sewing group “Syluet” from Svobodne village are ready to spend for several hours every day on sewing of masks. The premises where their meetings were held, satisfy all the necessary standards – they sew there. The women regularly treat a room with a disinfectant solution. They work in protective masks, caps and gloves.

Svitlana Tymoshenko, a head of the group and Tetiana Velychko, a head of the local kindergarten started off. As well as Liubov Nesterenko and Larysa Myronenko. Over time, other rural women wished to help them – now there are ten volunteers. They work on shifts of three to keep the necessary distance. Despite the fact that each of them has a family, household, a lot of seasonal work, they have no doubt about the expediency of their volunteer activity.

Of course, they were also faced with a lack of materials and equipment. They reached out to charity organizations. One sewing machine was donated by IMC («International Medical Corps»), the other by already familiar to us «Proliska», which provided seamstresses with material for 2.000 masks. The mission will distribute 1.500 masks to neighboring villages, and 500 they left in Svobodne village, transferred to a local paramedical and midwifery stations, distributed to people with chronic diseases and disabilities.

The number of volunteers is increasing. Those who do not sew, do educational activity, going door to door of villagers and telling how to protect themselves. On the eve of Easter, they took notes with people’s names for the prayer service and took them to a local church to avoid crowd.

It is symbolic that women started to fight against COVID-19. It turns out that the housewives are trying to keep healthy society without waiting for help from the state. However, the desire to do good and not to stay out of common trouble has no division by gender, age or place of residence. The state is each of us.

Julia CHEBRETS/Gromada Skhid No. 7 (16) 2020



The multi-children family sewed more than 1.000 masks

The Domina spouse from Volnovakha are raising nine children in a family-type home. And it also helps the needy locals protect themselves against coronavirus. Oksana Domina buys cloth for mask at her own expense, sews herself, and then hands out for free with her husband Ihor. Children also help – ironing already sewn products.

Over the past two weeks, Oksana has sewed more than 1.000 masks, which were distributed at hospitals of Volnovakha, street passers-by, and defenders at checkpoints.

Svitlana Domina is an ordinary woman. Having all kinds of her own troubles, Oksana remains a positive and energetic Ukrainian woman who does not expect outside support and is always ready to help:

– Now it is important to be responsible and clearly adhere to quarantine measures. Taking care of yourself and those around us is a reliable way of protecting yourself, giving you and your nearest and dearest a chance to get round coronavirus.


YuliyaGL/Gromkor Gromada Skhid No. 7 (16) 2020