Created in 2001 by AIP Foundation Founder and President Greig Craft, Protec is the first social enterprise (non-profit) specializing in helmet production and sales in the world. Fostering a socially inclusive workplace, Protec employs 150 workers at its factory, a significant portion of whom are living with disabilities.
In 2020, AIP Foundation utilized Protec’s helmet factory facility to produce personal masks and protective equipment in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. Through this initiative, we donated face masks and gloves to Africa, Asia, Europe, North America, and South America to support vulnerable communities most impacted by the pandemic.
To mark the 50 Years Anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Vietnam and Switzerland, a Credit Suisse Mission hosted by Mr. Andreas Gerber, Global Head Credit Suisse Corporate Banking and Dr. Urs Buchmann, Vice Chairman for Credit Suisse Hong Kong, visited the Protec Factory in Vietnam and celebrated its achievements in public health and safety.
In the 20 years since its inception, Protec, a social enterprise of AIP Foundation, remains one of the few factories producing safe, affordable, and environmentally–compatible helmets for road users in Vietnam and Southeast Asia, while also keeping its mask production line to maintain supply for healthcare demands. Learn more about AIP Foundation and Protec’s here to join our mission.
When we first started this project, COVID-19 was taking its toll on everyday lives and upended every community it touched. Watching the news covering big cities across the globe where people fought in lines to stock up on masks and personal equipment, groceries and sanitary supplies, we asked ourselves: “What about the underprivileged population?”. That was how we started leveraging specialized production lines at Protec, our social enterprise in Vietnam to produce personal face masks.
After 2 years of running this campaign, we have produced and distributed more than 13 million masks to high-need communities in Vietnam and overseas. Looking back, we would never have thought that this was achievable. As the final update for this project, we would like to send our warmest appreciation to all the donors who have supported us. It could not have been possible without the generosity and contribution of our supporters, to carry out the production and distribution of masks and personal equipment to high-need communities in Vietnam, Europe, and the US. Please know that your support never goes unnoticed.
As we close this chapter and move on to the next, thank you again for joining us in making this world better day by day. We are grateful to have you as our supporters, and committed to bringing new live-changing initiatives to improve the health and safety of our communities. Stay tuned!
In response to the overwhelming demand for personal protective masks during the COVID-19 pandemic, AIP Foundation and its social enterprise Protec, a helmet manufacturer in Vietnam, has started leveraging specialized production lines in Vietnam to produce personal face masks to address shortages in high-need communities. Protec employs 150 staff in its factory in Vietnam, a significant proportion of whom are individuals with disabilities. The factory involved in this mask initiative also leveraged production lines adapted to support workers with disabilities.
The first shipment of the masks and personal equipment, including 10,000 medical masks and gloves, went out to Abou Jaoude Hospital in Beirut after the deadly explosion of Ammonium Nitrate in 2020. Since then, the initiative has provided 180,000 medical masks to high-need communities in Europe and the US, such as the Bambino Gesu Hospital, Vatican, and Trieste, Italy. In addition to overseas donations, our social enterprise ran many campaigns in Vietnam to raise awareness of the importance of face masks for personal protection and distribute masks across the country.
At the 2 year mark, the project has achieved many of its initial targets in reaching and equipping people with adequate protection to battle COVID-19. It has been a rewarding journey to contribute to the global fight against the pandemic, and the support we received from donors all over the world greatly strengthened our motivation to serve vulnerable communities. As the pandemic outlook has significantly improved worldwide, it is time we move on to other initiatives. We deeply appreciate all the contributions made to this project, and hope for your continued support in our efforts to ensure health and safety for the communities in need.
To promote the importance of mask-wearing as a necessary protective measure while attracting greater attention to our mask initiative, Protec, our social enterprise, implemented interactive social media campaigns to engage youth in Vietnam. From July to December 2021, two competitions were held for participants under the age of 16 to explore their creativity - designing face masks and creating mask-wearing instructional videos.
The “Young Artist - Mask design competition” attracted many captivating submissions that reflected positive examples of mask wearing among the participants, and heightened awareness of the ongoing pandemic and protective measures for public health. Similarly, the engagement received from the video competition also became great encouragement for the team in working to distribute face masks to those in need and raise awareness on protective measures that individuals can take to protect themselves and those around them.
The emerging variant came to show that as the pandemic continues, the need for protective masks and other protective equipments maintain – especially in communities that lack access to immediate medical relief and support. Together with direct donations, we believe that public campaigns are an important aspect to increase awareness in staying safe and being responsible in this new global context.
Since the pandemic, AIP Foundation with the support of our partners has transformed Protec’s helmet factory to make space for personal protective equipment production. Through this initiative to aid those severely impacted by the pandemic, we donated face masks and gloves to Africa, Asia, Europe, North America, and South America.
"The donation of masks from Protec has come at a critical time. We are extremely grateful that our team will have access to more of the protective equipment they need to stay safe while taking care of their patients. When the Honorary Consulate of Lebanon in Vietnam contacted me about Protec wanting to donate face masks and gloves in support of frontline workers, I was moved by the sense of urgency and generosity of the global community. ” Mr. Jaoudat, the director of a hospital located near the Beirut port explosion, gave his thanks for the 10,000 protective masks and gloves donated by Protec in September 2020.
Promoting the paramount importance of masks in the fight against the pandemic, as well as the empowerment our mask initiative has brought to the Protec workforce, during the 2021 July Bonus Day we ran a massive social media campaign across our global channels to call for actions and highlight the shared impact we can have. As COVID-19 outbreaks continue to take its toll on our global community, especially the rampage through low and middle income countries, we hope that you join our efforts to provide protection for those who need it most.
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