Handmade face mask, photo via Facebook group @Česko šije roušky

New Czech websites connecting people with DIY face masks, places to volunteer

Volunteering is one of the permitted ways to leave your flat during the quarantine in the Czech Republic
Tip: Visit Expats.cz Health for more health & wellness resources in Prague & the Czech Republic!

Several websites have been set up quickly so people can either volunteer or find help in dealing with the coronavirus emergency. One focuses specifically on making and distributing masks, while others are more general. There are also social media groups dedicated to sewing and distributing masks.

During the nationwide quarantine, many people need help, and a large number of people are looking for ways to volunteer. One of the exceptions to the quarantine is volunteering to provide help to others, so people are allowed on the street for this purpose.

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The site Damerousky.cz — We Give Masks — has an interactive map so people making cotton masks or seeking masks can show their location. The site has strict rules against price gouging, so the most people can ask is 50 CZK, though they encourage free offers.

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“If we all wear them all, we can greatly reduce the spread of the virus,” the site operators said.

They also recommend this site and this site, in Czech, for sewing instructions. Info is also widely available in English thorugh a simple web search for sewing masks.

The Facebook group Česko šije roušky (Czech Republic Sews Masks) also helps people to coordinate sewing and distributing masks.

The site Pomuzeme.si — We Can Help — coordinates volunteers with NGOs. Czech language skills are needed in many cases. You can sign up through the website, and an NGO or charity may contact you. Organizations who need help can also use the same site to register.

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A website called SousedskaPomoc.cz — Neighborly Help — lets people sign up to help provide food and medicine to people who cannot go out on their own. The elderly especially should stay off the streets, as they are most at risk from the virus.

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The site interface on the site that allows volunteers to coordinate among themselves. The sites offers four ways to help: courier, caregiver, dispatcher, and sewing masks.

A courier needs a car or a bike, and a phone. They shop from shopping lists, and delivers purchases to those who need them. This keeps at-risk people safer from infection.

A caregiver needs a computer, telephone, and organizational skills. They search for people who need help with purchases, creates shopping lists with them, and enter shopping lists into the system.

A dispatcher needs a computer, telephone, and patience. They monitor the movement and availability of couriers in a given location, allocate purchases to couriers, and oversee their delivery.

A mask maker needs steady hands, a sewing machine, fabric, elastic bands, and a telephone. They sew fabric masks and prepare them for couriers to deliver. The masks will be used by other volunteers out in the field, and the rest will be given to those who need them the most.

Tip: Visit Expats.cz Health for more health & wellness resources in Prague & the Czech Republic!

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