Woman sewing face masks
Peru – May 29 2020

Aida’s gift to her community during the pandemic

Aida, 39, from Lima in Peru is no stranger to disaster. She was already a widow, raising her two children Kathy (now 22) and Elmer (now 12), by herself, when in 2017, they lost everything they owned in the mudslides in Chosica.

The one thing Aida never lost was her strength.

Before the mudslides, she used to rear animals to make a living, but they were all killed in the disaster. She needed to find a different way to make money, and fast.

Aida and her neighbours received an donation of four sewing machines but they did not know how to use them. Luckily, last year, they turned to SOS Peru, who provided training in sewing, so Aida and her neighbours could start making aprons, bags and polo shirts. SOS also provided training in marketing and finances so they could start their own business.

Unfortunately, they were then faced with the coronavirus lockdown. But, never one to be defeated, Aida came up with the idea of ​​producing masks and delivering them to organisations that needed them - in exchange for food for the whole community. This generosity of spirit has meant that everyone in her community faced with the financial difficulties of lockdown can still get the food they need to survive.

Aida and her neighbours are also donating masks to people who need them but can’t afford them. When Aida lost everything in the mudslides, many people helped her – and now she wants to give back.

Aida says: “When this is over, I want to continue working in our sewing workshop because I have learned that as long as I have hands and feet, I can continue fighting for my dreams."


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