To help combat the spread of COVID-19 in the community, Rep. Sheila Babauta (Ind-Saipan) is spearheading The Guardian Mask Project, a volunteer movement that seeks to provide free and accessible masks for people in the CNMI.
According to Babauta, the project, the goal of which is to create a thousand masks, is inspired by the “mask for all” movement around the world.
“We want to provide safe, accessible, and free masks to people in the community who really just need them, and we really need more than one since we want to keep [the masks] sanitized and clean,” she said.
The project began Saturday, and Babauta’s office is looking for volunteers who can help sew the masks, as well as people who want to donate materials such as threads and bands.
The project is also looking for people who could host a “Guardian Tree,” which are properties near roads where the free masks will be hung, to make it more accessible for members of the community to safely pick up a mask.
Aside from helping provide masks for those who need it but may not have the means to access it, Babauta initiated the project for people in the community to have an opportunity to volunteer and help in this time of pandemic.
“A lot of us are looking for ways to help because this disaster is so different than any other disaster. This is not a typhoon where you can clearly see the disaster outside, and you know how you can help. …This kind of disaster is different. We just got to be creative on ways we can help one other and provide the opportunities for our community,” she said.
People who want to volunteer may email Babauta at email@example.com.
“I support masks for all. I think we should all not just protect ourselves but if you change your perspective and think about it as you protecting others by containing your droplets, then I think it’s worth it, and it’s worth your time to volunteer. It’s just worth the effort to get a mask,” Babauta added.