“I am overwhelmed and I can’t say thanks enough for this donation,” shared an elated dressmaker, Roselyn Logan, from the Woodford Park Community, of South East St Andrew.

Three community groups from Bull Bay, Rockfort and Mountain View/Vineyard Town areas, received in total 10 sewing machines from Carib Cement Limited, that will be donated to micro entrepreneurs who operate seamstress businesses to boost face mask production in their communities.

“I am thankful for this assistance because it can benefit me and help me to provide for my disabled son, and members of the community,” Logan said.

Klao Bell-Lewis, Community Management and Media Strategy Manager at Carib Cement Company Limited, said the donation is in response to the COVID-19 crisis, to assist persons from communities surrounding the company to earn an income during the pandemic.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has turned things upside down for many lives. The community reached out to us and said many persons have been affected by the impact of the downturn in the economy because of the pandemic. Carib Cement as part of our corporate social responsibility, has provided machines and fabric to give these persons a start in providing masks at a very low cost,” Lewis said.

“The first batch of products will go to students, and sold to persons that do not have masks at an affordable cost. They will be able to do with the next batch, what is economical and effective for their purposes,” Bell-Lewis added.

Fatima Muwwakil, President of 11 Miles Youth in Action, said with the COVID-19 Pandemic affecting everyone, the community was appreciative of the kind gesture from Carib Cement.

“It is no secret that school will resume in the coming months and the machines will be used to make masks for students at a minimal cost. We do not want any student from the community to be turned back from school because they do not have a mask,” Muwwakil said.

Meanwhile, Oswald Service, Chairman of the Rockfort Development Council, said they were grateful for the sewing machines donated by Carib Cement Company Limited.

“These machines will help three females from the community to make masks to sell back to the residents. They can also use the machines to make other items including school uniforms or any other clothing, that will be economically beneficial to them,” Service said.

Yogo Castro, General Manager at Carib Cement Company Limited said the company was happy to support the local communities.

“What we are doing is giving tools to assist these persons, so that they can start producing masks. We have a double benefit here because we will produce something that is needed for the country to protect our people against COVID-19; and at the same time, we are contributing to the economic recovery of the country,” Castro said.

Julian Robinson, Member of Parliament, South East St Andrew, said that the initiative was a positive one in which persons would be gainfully employed, producing masks and contributing to the economic viability of their community and the country.

“I am extremely grateful to Carib Cement for this initiative. We are not over COVID-19 and it is important that as many Jamaicans continue to observe the protocols and respect the rules that the government has set,” Robinson said.

Robinson said the masks being made were of high quality, and one’s that the residents appreciate.

“Roselyn has made a number of these masks that we have been giving out to members of the community and the constituency. Persons must wear masks and observe the protocols that the government has stipulated,” he said.

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