By Nawon Lee
The global impact of COVID-19 has been profound. Across the world, many marketplaces go through a shortage of essential items such as hand sanitizer and masks during the health crisis. In response, many civic groups and citizens around the world are providing assistance during these difficult times by making and donating masks, food, and other necessary materials.
There are even low supplies of masks for medical workers and people in locations with a high number of confirmed cases. During a time when the number of confirmed virus cases was rapidly increasing in Korea from late February to early March, citizens who were unable to secure masks suffered from anxiety and fear, and citizens, especially elders, who were uneasy about the crisis were placed on a prolonged waitlist to purchase masks.
Global Peace Women (GPW), the women's division of Global Peace Foundation, crafted and delivered hand-made masks to support underprivileged families in a time when it was extremely difficult to procure them.
GPW Korea HQ in Seoul, along with regional branches in Korea, carried out a fundraiser in late February and collected 2 million won (around $1,600 USD). With the fundings, staff and volunteers gathered and made 600 disposable masks along with 500 masks gathered by a mask-making company in order to help the city of Daegu, where the confirmed COVID-19 cases are most severe.
“We originally planned to purchase and deliver large amounts of masks with the donations at the time of the campaign, but due to the heightened demand for masks we began planning our own means of production,” said Mihwa Kim, director of GPW Korea. GPW officials and volunteers supported the multicultural families and North Korean families residing in Daegu, where masks are urgently needed.
“We hope that even a little help can provide consolation and encouragement and that this crisis will be overcome as soon as possible,” Kim added.
The masks were delivered to homes in Daegu through Sunja Yim, director of the GPW Daegu branch. Yeonsook Park, Vice President of the GPW Daegu branch, expressed her appreciation for the efforts and help of executives nationwide. “The best way to repay this help is for the people with the virus to recover and return to their daily lives from isolation as quickly as possible," she said, adding that she will work as head of a community organization to overcome the disease.
Global Peace Women continues to work with chapters to find ways to ease communities from the COVID-19 crisis around the world.
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