Fairfield Students Organize Face Mask Sale to Benefit West African School

Fairfield Students Organize Face Mask Sale to Benefit West African School

A variety of vibrant, handcrafted African face masks are on sale at the University.

Proceeds from the holiday sale will benefit underprivileged girls living in The Gambia.

I hope that the funds raised from the sale will support the young entrepreneurs at Starfish International, as well as the community during this unprecedented time.

— Nya Jones '23

The season of giving is in full swing, and two Fairfield University students are coordinating a campus-wide effort to spread its charitable message worldwide.

Public health major Micah Martin-Parchment '21 and international studies major Nya Jones '23 are teaming up this December to organize a holiday face mask sale to benefit Starfish International, a University partner organization and West African school dedicated to providing underprivileged Gambian girls with an exceptional education. Martin-Parchment interned with the organization in 2019 as part of University’s Global Scholars internship program, and Jones hopes to carry on the tradition in the summer of 2021.

Each face mask is handmade by Gambian high school students studying at Starfish International’s on-campus business center under the guidance of Mama Kujabi, a faculty mentor who teaches a variety of home economics skills in sewing, jewelry and soap making, fabric printing techniques, and cooking. The masks are made of vibrant African cloth prints and sturdy two-ply material and come equipped with flexible elastic ear bands designed for comfort. Once assembled, they are sold in the school’s storefront to support the academy’s academic programming. The Gambian school’s programming and staffing resources took a significant hit this year, as pandemic-related funding cuts and international travel bans eliminated their university visit, volunteer, and internship programs. 

In an effort to help boost the non-profit organization’s sales and expand its global outreach, Martin-Parchment and Jones have volunteered to sell a variety of the handcrafted masks on Fairfield University's campus with all proceeds being sent directly to Starfish International. The unique coverings cost $7 each or $20 for four and can be purchased now through December 20, by contacting Martin-Parchment at mmartin-parchment@student.fairfield.edu or Jones at nya.jones@student.fairfield.edu. Payment will be accepted via Venmo and both contactless drop-off (on-campus only) and home shipping options are available.

“I was excited to take on this project so that we could share the vibrant energy and hard work of the exceptional Starfish students with our community,” Jones said. “I love seeing which mask my classmates choose because they each find one that matches their unique personality and style. I hope that the funds raised from the sale will support the young entrepreneurs at Starfish International, as well as the community during this unprecedented time.”

Tags:  Faculty or Staff Stories,  Parent Stories,  Student Stories

Last modified: 12-04-20 7:31 AM

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