KUALA LUMPUR: The scarcity of face mask supplies in the country has prompted non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and local social enterprises to team up to help the community tackle the problem.
Komuniti Tukang Jahit (KTJ), Persatuan Kebajikan Suara Kanak-Kanak Malaysia (SUKA Society), and Caremongering Malaysia Community (CMC) have joined hands to tailor cloth-based face masks for those in need, especially those in the food delivery services as well as the public.
KTJ’s Chief Executive Officer and founder Yap Sue Yi stressed that the face masks are non-regulation and that they were not targeted at healthcare frontliners.
“The idea was to tailor cloth-based face masks that are washable, reusable, and practical. The cloth-based face masks are also tailored to be lightweight and have pockets for changeable tissue for short-time filtration.
“We believe acting upon this idea is more like a quick response for volunteers and individuals in the essential services, who are in need of reliable face masks since the supply of regulated N95 and three-ply face masks are either limited or out of stock.
“And at the same time, we want to help the community, especially the stay-at-home mothers from B40 communities through job creations from this small effort,” Yap said in a statement.
The project kickstarted with 100 pieces of face masks to be distributed for the first batch. The production numbers would be ramped up gradually to cater to new demands from other NGOs in the future.
The collaboration has taken aboard all safety measures in terms of the masks’ distribution to ensure they are complying with the regulation set during the Movement Control Order (MCO) period.
“In terms of distribution, we have come up with the safest and least human-to-human contact delivery plan. We take into account the need for social distancing too,” Yap said.
The volunteer tailors are equipped with sewing skills through online training and tutorials. The sewing kit, which includes fabrics and other materials for the home-based tailors, was delivered to their doorstep.
Once the masks are ready to be distributed, the tailors would alert the person in charge to pick it up from their doorstep for distribution.
“We are open to collaborations with any local social enterprises out there as we believe this is the time to give back to our society through any resources or help that we can provide,” Yap said.