Emergency Response: We’re Making Face Shields!

April 26, 2020

“Pivot” has become a widely used term in today’s world. In reference to business or mission strategy, businesses and nonprofits worldwide are seeking out how to more effectively meet the needs of this pandemic and even anticipate future needs. This is where “pivoting” comes into play.

The mission of Hope Africa Collective hasn’t changed. We remain passionately focused on serving impoverished communities in the Philippi region of South Africa. However, in order to practice social distancing and keep our communities safe, we have had to pivot our strategy of how best to serve these communities during this time.

Through The Printery, Hope Africa Collective’s social enterprise print shop, we have the ability to produce face shields as part of the needed personal protective equipment (PPE) for those in healthcare and on the frontlines in our community. 

Andy Benestad, the director of The Printery, is spearheading this mission. With his access to and experience with the laser cutter in The Printery, he was able to acquire a manufacturing permit which allows him to work during the nationwide lockdown.

With the demand for PPE increasing, the purpose of producing the face shields is two-fold:

First, this is simply one effective way that Hope Africa Collective can continue to serve our community and the Cape Town area at large.

Second, this presents a new and innovative way for The Printery to still generate additional income for Hope Africa Collective. Although the revenue it produces won’t be much, every little bit is helpful and critical to The Printery’s survival as so many businesses are shutting down.

We have enough supplies to produce our first target goal of 3,000 face shields.

Due to the growing demand for PPE, the materials needed to manufacture these protective face shields are becoming scarce, so we are developing backup plans for when our normal suppliers run out of stock. The plan is to produce 3,000 face shields with this first batch and then reassess the need and go from there. 

We have already begun donating shields to the local clinic in Philippi that has been set up to do field testing of anyone in the township with COVID-19 symptoms. 

Currently there are about 85 healthcare workers there who have no shields, so being able to increase their protection against contamination is very meaningful to us. This is our community and we are passionate about helping in any way we can.

There are numerous hospitals and healthcare facilities in the Western Cape Province and hundreds more throughout the country of South Africa. We are currently exploring options for distribution to these locations as well. We plan to also tap into our connections with the greater network of non-government organizations (NGOs), nonprofits, ministries, and other organizations in the area.

Various business sectors and industries are seeking to purchase protective equipment for their essential worker employees, and we are pursuing avenues to be able to sell the shields at cost. We recognize the great need and are committed to doing all we can to helping meet that need. 

For just $10, you can sponsor a face shield for a healthcare professional in a clinic, hospital, or healthcare facility. 

A gift of just $10 will cover the production of a face shield, enabling us to donate that shield to a frontline worker in need. 

Your support of this COVID-19 response initiative will provide protective shields to healthcare professionals and other essential workers, and enable us to scale production capacity in order to meet the growing need for PPE.

Would you consider a special one-time gift directly to the COVID-19 Face Shield Fund? 

This pandemic has impacted all of us. Together, we will keep showing up with light, love, and hope for the most vulnerable. Thank you for standing with us in this vital work.


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Emergency Response: We’re Making Face Shields!