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Source: Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology

With the re-emergence of community transmission of COVID-19 and the advice to wear face masks, Toi Ohomai students saw an opportunity to raise important funds. 

Bachelor of Creative Industries students held an impromptu sale of handmade facemasks last week in a bid to help promote the use of reusable face masks and to also raise money to fund the students’ end of year exhibition and fashion show.

The Ministry of Health and Government have recommended that as part of our own personal safety measures that the wearing of face masks is encouraged. 

Face masks are only one part of New Zealand’s overall elimination strategy and are to prevent the wearer from transmitting any infection to others, or to offer protection for the wear against infection. 
The students sold 190 face masks and are still working their way through orders, which are coming in daily. 

The money raised is going towards the expenses for the Bachelor of Creative Industries final year exhibition and fashion show, this includes fashion rehearsals, function set up, specialist equipment, refreshments, entertainment, and volunteer and industry thank you gifts.

Toi Ohomai Senior Academic Staff Member Anne-Marie Simon says the event is usually run with ticket sales as a funding revenue but this year they would like to make the event free to attend.

“In response to COVID-19 and the challenging time our students and wider community has endured over the last few months, we would like to hold an event without monetary expectations, that whānau, friends, community and the creative industry sector can come together to celebrate our student successes without boundaries. 

“We wanted students to learn more about project planning and how to incorporate the fashion show into an event for all guests rather than limiting this aspect of the event. 

“We adapted the course in 2019 enabling students to learn about project management- including fundraising projects and sponsorship for an event.” 

Toi Ohomai currently pays for the event catalogue and supporting event marketing collateral. 

“Everything else is paid for from the student fundraising and sponsorship. This aspect of the course has been highly effective with graduates being able to apply their newly acquired skills when applying successfully for public funding.”

Ms Simon says last year students organised a music festival at the Jam Factory, which generated more than $1200. 

As part of this process students are not only learning their craft, but they learn fundraising and event management skills that are authentic and adaptable.

“Each student year group is able to direct how the final event is marketed, presented and managed. They get to finish their final year of study on a high, by putting on a fantastic event to showcase their final body of work to family, community and industry.”

Image: From left  Toi Ohomai Bachelor of Creative Industries tutors Anne-Marie Simon, Donna Dinsdale and Darcell Apelu, who joined the production line to make the masks.