The Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) was first declared last March 2020 to prevent the spread of Covid-19 in the Philippines. Because their supplies were running out, Ivan Mainar, a nurse serving in Iloilo Health Center, called for donors of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) on his social media account. He was surprised when the answer came from the Culasi Fashion Makers (CFM) Tailoring Shop, an ADRA supported community-based organization through the Restoring, Empowering, and Protecting Livelihoods (REAP) Project.
He was surprised because all seamstresses of CFM were identified by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) as poorest of the poor and were all beneficiaries of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) of the government. When Dr. Marigi Salvador, a Doctor to the Barrios in Ajuy, Iloilo, learned about it, she shared on Facebook that she nearly cried because “what surprised me the most was that, they are beneficiaries of the 4Ps yet they didn’t think twice to give us a hand.”
Before making and donating the face masks and coveralls / laboratory gowns to the health professionals and front liners, CFM was already experiencing the financial constraints that the rest of the world had begun to feel due Covid-19 Pandemic. On a normal day, the seamstress would be able to earn P200-P300 from sewing uniforms, jerseys, bags and repairing clothes but due to ECQ that prevented people from leaving their homes, this income went down to P0. They tried sewing washable face masks because the supply in the market had already run out. They were successful in selling them for P20 a piece, but since not everyone could afford to spend P20 for a mask, some were given away instead.
When the Ivan Mainar posted on his social media account about the need for PPEs, CFM contacted him and told him that they would be able to help out. And when word got of what CFM did, private individuals began to contact them to order PPEs too, thus providing them with the some means to survive this Covid-19 crisis.
Though CFM didn’t expect anything in return when they decided to donate the PPEs, their generosity was rewarded almost immediately.
What a beautiful way to show the generosity of humanity despite this Covid-19 pandemic.