Giving back to frontline workers

Joining in: Lee tries her hands at sewing a personal protective equipment for the frontliners working in government clinics within Sunway City and Subang Jaya.

SINCE the Covid-19 pandemic broke out, Malaysian universities have been actively providing personal protective equipment (PPE) kits for frontline workers.

The most recent entrant is Sunway University, who teamed up with Mercy Malaysia in their PPE Sewing Project. The collaboration, the university said, provides its students and alumni the opportunity to keep healthcare providers safe during the pandemic.

“The project is expected to produce 800 PPEs within one month, which will be channelled to government clinics within Sunway City and Subang Jaya.

“The volunteers worked in a team of six to seven people, on two shifts daily at the Sunway iLabs Makerspace on Sunway University campus.

“Strict standard operating procedures for social distancing, safety and hygiene are in place to reduce risks of viral or bacterial transmission,” the university said in a statement.

Sunway Education Group chief executive officer Dr Elizabeth Lee said it was heartening to see more than 20 students lending their hand and volunteering their time for the project.

Even without prior sewing experience, she said, the students have learnt fast and are doing a good job.

“At Sunway, where students are encouraged to volunteer and give back to society, I am happy that many answered the call to help with the project.”

Sunway Education Group philanthropy director Datin Raja Riza Shazmin Raja Badrul Shah, who is also Mercy Malaysia’s vice president II, said the sewing project engages students and provides them the opportunity to learn new skills during the movement control order.

“As classes are now conducted online, students may feel disconnected from their studies, classmates and the university.

“We also want them to develop resourceful and positive mindsets, so that they are more resilient physically, mentally and emotionally to face challenges in the new norm.

“Volunteering for causes such as sewing PPEs for frontliners helps build empathy which is proven to reduce stress and build character,” said Raja Riza, who mooted the idea.

Biology with Psychology student Narviinya Murugappan said volunteering for the project helps ease her academic stress as she channels it into something productive.

“This sewing experience has taught me that immersing myself in such a project can be incredibly therapeutic.

“I’m happy to be able to have this chance to help our frontliners,” she said.

Edmunq Bong Yeow Hong, an International Hospitality student, felt it was good to do something productive and pick up a new skill while staying at home.

Another volunteer, Sudanese student Ahmed Omer Ahmed Mohamed said volunteering enables him to learn a new skill and meet new people.

“I am happy to have this opportunity to contribute and help our healthcare workers.

“The environment here is great, and everyone is happy to share their knowledge and skills,” said the Doctor of Philosophy (Computing) student.

Ng Swee Lin, a Sunway College A-Level alumna, signed up to gain a new skill while killing time.

“It’s good to contribute and help frontliners as they do so much for us. This is one way we can show our appreciation for them.

“Projects like these encourage and teach our generation to give back to society”.

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