Meet Jonas, the driver/fashion designer of UNICEF Chad

Fighting COVID-19 together

Christophe Verhellen
Jonas 3
Unicef Chad/2019
08 May 2020

Jonas Berassengar, 38 years old, is a dedicated driver with UNICEF Chad since 2015. But what no colleague knew is that Jonas is also a talented tailor.

“At the onset of the COVID-19 crisis in Chad, I started wearing a mask to protect myself and the people around me,” tells Jonas. “I also brought some masks for our security personnel. But then other colleagues started to ask me where I had bought the masks. Because when the outbreak occurred these were not yet widely available in the city. So, I started to produce some masks for them as well.”

It was only then that the staff realized that Jonas is in fact a professional tailor, and that he had made these masks himself. Before joining UNICEF, he designed and sewed suits, jackets, and dresses for the people in his community.

“When the management picked up my story, the Deputy-Representative Operations approached me and asked me if I would be interested in producing a large quantity for all staff. I did not hesitate for a second,” Jonas continues. “Over the next few days I will be producing 500 masks, 50 masks a day. So, by the end of next week all staff should have their own mask.”

Jonas produces the masks on a voluntary basis, using materials that will be provided by the office. His design will also serve as a sewing pattern for a much bigger production in collaboration with one of UNICEF Chad’s local partners. But to Jonas, the only thing that really counts is the satisfaction of being able to something useful for his colleagues. “Making these masks is my humble contribution to the safety and well-being of our staff,” Jonas concludes.

Jonas 2
Unicef Chad/2019
Jonas 1
Unicef Chad/2019