The Cutting Edge, a Winnipeg-based social enterprise that employs newcomers, has chosen to take up the task of making masks during the coronavirus pandemic.
Masks are an essential product at the moment, and providing people with masks will help them out immensely. The Cutting Edge is known to hire immigrant women and provide them with training so they can successfully operate sewing machines. The program has yielded thousands of masks until now. The social enterprise is also stitching see-through masks that will allow deaf people to continue reading lips.
More details about the initiative
The Canadian Muslim Women’s Institute program operates this program and hired ten newcomer women in the course of the COVID-19 pandemic. Anne-Lydie Bolay, Operations Director of The Cutting Edge, informed CBC News that their initiative has garnered a lot of interest and received many orders from colleges and groups advocating for accessibility.
Bolay has said that all the women who are working hard to create the masks are being paid a reasonable salary and are receiving work benefits. Their working hours are largely flexible.
Initially, they were making only regular reusable masks, but they decided to expand their range after hearing of concerns raised by newcomers who found it difficult to communicate when wearing a mask. They are making regular cloth masks and masks with a see-through window at the moment. The latter will allow people to see the wearer’s lips when they speak.
Even new immigrants who are not familiar with the language yet will be able to communicate better with the see-through masks. It is important to note that all the masks created by The Cutting Edge are designed to be comfortable for women wearing a hijab.