Reusable Masks Across Germany

From refugees to role models

More than one million refugees have reached Germany since 2014. Arriving in the country, however, is as much the beginning of a journey as it is an end. IsraAID’s team focuses on responding to trauma, building resilience and empowerment, and supporting refugees’ integration into German society.

IsraAID’s refugee community leaders in Berlin, Stuttgart, and Frankfurt recruited a cohort of volunteers with tailoring experience to design and sew reusable face masks amid the COVID-19 pandemic. With hundreds of masks produced each week, the teams on the ground distributed the finished product to refugee shelters and camps, as well as members of the host community, including the elderly, homeless people, and Holocaust survivors.

This initiative sought to answer the acute need for more masks while challenging preconceived notions that refugees solely receive services, rather than provide them. By reaching out and producing masks for others, refugees and asylum seekers are able to give back to those around them and create a meaningful platform for interaction between often-separate communities.


“I’ve learned how we can be role-models within our communities and to be able to do that we have to deal with the history and circumstances in Germany. It was a moving experience for me to be able to hand over the masks to elderly people who survived the Holocaust, which I only really learned about in the last few years.”

N, Syrian Refugee


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