Volunteers make reusable masks for migrant workers
The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases continues to climb in Singapore, out of which 80% of the infected cases are migrant workers staying in foreign worker dormitories. This latest development of the pandemic has brought uncertainty to the 200,000 migrant workers who live in the foreign worker dormitories across Singapore. In view of the gravity of the pandemic, a local garment factory has called on the public to help make 300,000 fabric masks for these migrant workers. Tzu Chi responded immediately to the call to meet with the urgent demand for fabric masks. Although movement is restricted during the circuit breaker period, nothing can stop love from spreading kindness in the society.
The worsening of the pandemic in Singapore is reflected by the number of confirmed cases breaking a thousand a day for four consecutive days. As of April, of the ten thousand over cases, more than 80% are from foreign workers dormitories.
CYC, a local tailoring company with 85 years of history, had call on the public on social media, to help make 300,000 fabric masks for the migrant workers.
Managing Director of CYC, Mrs Fong Loo Fern: Basically, because I know that in Singapore, we depend a lot on migrant workers to do a lot of things for us like even maintaining the roads, cleaning the HDB flats, I feel for them, and I am thankful for their contribution.
Tzu Chi volunteer: Sister, I am on the way to your place (Have you reached?) Yes (Are you downstairs?) Not yet, will arrive in 2 minutes.
Upon learning the call by CYC, Tzu Chi Singapore took the initiative to contact the company and started taking part in the sewing of fabric masks. Initially, volunteers were arranged to deliver the fabric and finished products, but after the circuit breaker measures were further tightened, it became harder to move around. However, the volunteers still tried their best to solve the logistic issue.
Head of Volunteer Development Tzu Chi Foundation, Beh Keng Hua: The circuit breaker measure was further tightened on the day we received the material for the masks, we were really at a loss for what to do next, after having a meeting, we realized that we can invite people who work as taxi drivers or grab drivers to deliver the masks. And we managed to deliver the masks on the next day.
Tzu Chi volunteer, Vivian Goh: To be honest, we have been neglecting these migrant workers during the ordinary days. It is not easy for them to work in a foreign country, I am from Malaysia, that is why we know what it feels like to be a foreigner. Although these masks are only little gestures of love, I am sending my care and love over to them. I feel very happy sewing these masks.
Managing Director of CYC, Mrs Fong Loo Fern: I am very happy to see that many people have come forward to offer various kinds of help, it’s very encouraging.
Each mask is made to protect one life, and to light up the hope of winning this battle against the pandemic.