Church donates personal protective equipment, members sew masks to fight COVID-19 in Botswana

More than $225,000 of personal protective equipment, masks and other supplies to help combat the COVID-19 pandemic has been donated by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to the government of Botswana, according to a Feb. 19 announcement on South Africa Newsroom.  

About 8,000 masks sewed by local members in 11 congregations across the capital city were also donated as part of the effort.

The Botswana government’s health and wellness minister, Edwin Dikoloti, met with Church leaders in Gaborone, Botswana, to receive the donation, which included 12,000 disposable scrub suits, thousands of face shields, gloves and heavy-duty aprons to be used by front-line health workers.   

Following the government’s appeal for assistance, “as a Church, we engaged the Health and Wellness Ministry to identify critical needs,” said Gaborone Botswana Stake President Oduetse Shaka Mokweni. “The needs identified were a shortage of PPE for front-line professionals and a lack of face masks for marginalized primary school kids in some schools.” 

The masks were part of the donation “handed to the Ministry of Health and some directly to identified schools,” President Mokweni said. 

Latter-day Saints in Botswana make 8,000 masks in response to local government's request. (Cropped for social)
Latter-day Saints in Botswana make 8,000 masks in response to local government’s request. (Cropped for social) Credit: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

The Church organized the personal protective equipment through its Humanitarian Services, funded by donations from members around the world, according to Newsroom.  

Dikoloti expressed “profound gratitude” to the Church for its donation as Botswana’s battle with COVID-19 intensifies.  

The number of COVID-19 cases in the country of 2.4 million people has risen sharply since October and there are almost 21,000 positive cases in the country.  

Elder Clement Matswagothata, an Area Seventy, said at the handover event that the mindset of pulling together for the common good “starts in our homes.”

“It starts in our families. It affects our communities in which we live. It … has the ability to make a difference in countries and the world at large,” he said.