Masks for the World: Supporting Global Organizations to Prepare for COVID-19

Masks sewn by Hope Revival Children's Organization (HRCO), Musoma Tanzania.

Collaborate with community partners around the world to help prepare for the spread of COVID-19 through the design and production of masks.

Project description

For the past month, UB Librarian, Cindi Tysick, has been making masks—lots of masks. It started with sewing masks for her family, and then quickly grew to a bigger production, delivering masks to area health workers and making design adaptations to address specific needs and requests. When health care workers complained of irritation and pain caused by elastic worn around their ears, Cindi quickly sewed cloth headbands and masks that attached via buttons. She also customized masks for young Cancer patients who needed extra room to accommodate chemotherapy treatments. As Cindi began sharing her creations, friends offered donations, which went to support supplies, but also spawned a fundraising idea. Cindi would use the extra money, and her own expertise, to seed mask projects in developing regions in Africa, starting with those with whom she already had relationships.

Through Cindi's efforts, there are now burgeoning projects in Ghana (focused on 3D mask printing through the Western New York STEM Hub, that Cindi helped initiate) and Tanzania (through Hope Revival Children's Organization and Musoma Women's Action Group). Through sharing resources, information, and seed funding, Cindi is helping these partner organizations prepare for the spread of the virus, while also supporting a culture of public health preparedness.

Cindi invites UB students of all backgrounds and geographical locations to contribute to this project, helping to support our partners (current and future) wherever they are.

Project outcome

Specific project outcomes will be customized for participating students based on their unique interests and skill-sets and may include:

  • profiling stories related to the production and utilization of masks towards building capacity
  • developing a marketing campaign to raise support
  • designing and/or producing masks
  • researching and engaging with local organizations around the world toward supporting related efforts
  • 3-D printing of masks

Project details

Timing, eligibility and other details
Length of commitment Less than a semester (0-2 months)
Start time Now
Level of collaboration Flexible 
Benefits Other
Who is eligible All students

Core partners

  • Hope Revival Children's Organization (Tanzania)
  • West African STEM Hub
  • YALI (Young African Leadership Institute)

Project mentor

Cindi Tysick

Director of Education Services (Research, Education and Outreach);

UB Libraries

520C Lockwood Library

Phone: (716) 645-8629


Start the project

  1. Email the project mentor using the contact information above to express your interest and get approval to work on the project. (Here are helpful tips on how to contact a project mentor.)
  2. After you receive approval from the mentor to start this project, click the button to start the digital badge. (Learn more about ELN's digital badge options.) 

Preparation activities

Once you begin the digital badge series, you will have access to all the necessary activities and instructions. Your mentor has indicated they would like you to also complete the specific preparation activities below. Please reference this when you get to Step 2 of the Preparation Phase. 

  • Interested students should contact Cindi Tysick to discuss their interests and associated preparation for their project.