Impact Stories | Civic Engagement

Protecting Our Frontliners: Appreciating Volunteers

Sanidhya Mathur
April 30, 2021

“Volunteers do not necessarily have the time; they just have the heart”

There is no need to argue with Elizabeth Andrews’ statement as what she said is unquestionably true. For the past month, Biji-biji Initiative, Me.reka and Taylors Me.reka Makerspace, along with dedicated social enterprises, organizations, communities, and individuals, came together to design and produce Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for those working diligently in the frontline. As the days went on, the numbers of medical equipment needed kept on piling and we needed additional manpower to fulfil the desperate requests of the medical staff and the frontliners.

Power and Perseverance of Volunteers

It was tough with the country having to abide by the Movement Control Order (MCO) but we knew all measures taken were crucial. Members from our community started helping out with assembling and printing the parts of the face shields whilst maintaining a six feet gap. It was a daring move to keep operations running during this period but it was a chance worth taking. We ensured that a responsible Standard Operating Procedure was in place to ensure the safety of all volunteers and members involved with the production. This included rigorous temperature checking for all those that entered our production premises at Me.reka and Taylors Me.reka Makerspace and included supplying sanitizers, gloves, masks and limiting to only 8 production volunteers in a given space and time

Volunteering from Home

In addition to the wonderful volunteers that bravely came to our production sites to help the process, a great deal of the production was successful thanks to volunteers who helped prepare materials in the comforts of their own home. It is inspiring how we received calls from people who still wanted to bring the initiative further. All support provided to this initiative, no matter how big or small, was extremely valuable. Oscar Wilde did say that the smallest act of kindness is worth more than the grandest intention. Many gathered their voices and helped us share our story, proving again that the power of voice is truly underestimated. The efforts from all volunteers and communities in aiding our production and creating awareness of our initiative have allowed for this effort to significantly contribute towards the wellbeing of those at the frontlines.

We ensure to thank all volunteers and partners in this initiative to individually credit all their accomplishments during the coming weeks. Although this is a small gesture compared to the immeasurable impact they have contributed towards, it is the least we can do. Our volunteers deserve eternal praise. In a time where safety and health of oneself are compromised, having the heart to go above. During a time where business activities are halted and communities are disengaged, this initiative does much more than provide for the frontliners — it managed to unify makers and the public alike towards one common cause regardless of gender, race, social status and nationality. We do care for one another. It really is #kitajagakita and we are genuinely grateful for that.

Sanidhya Mathur

Sanidhya Mathur is a content writer at Me.reka with a passion for producing content that reflects and communicates diverse experiences through a shared vision of social innovation.