HiddenHero: Seamstress Gives Free Self-Made Masks

HiddenHero: Seamstress Gives Free Self-Made Masks

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A seamstress in Albay saw the community quarantine period as an opportunity to help her neighbors after local stores in her village ran out of surgical and cloth masks needed to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Josie Paclibar, 57, says she has made more than a 100 cloth masks and gave it all for free to her neighbors.

“Dahil sa COVID-19 nagkaroon ako ng idea kasi kailangan ng mga frontliners at ibang tao. Almost 100 plus na and ongoing na po ang tahi ko. Kada punta dito sa bahay ng mga tao binibigyan ko o kaya yung nakasabit ko pinapipili ko na lang, libre walang bayad,” she says.

Josie, a village treasurer, has been a World Vision volunteer, helping monitor children’s welfare in her rural village. Two years ago, a group of mothers in Josie’s town were provided with sewing machines and tailoring training from World Vision and government agencies to augment for the family’s income.

Josie learned more on dressmaking from the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), a Philippine government agency tasked to provide technical education to Filipinos.

“World Vision partners with TESDA and the local government unit to provide additional livelihood to families in the community. Tailoring is one of the needs that the families identified after our consultation with them,” Junna Daniel, World Vision Program Officer in Albay, explains.

Many in Josie’s town are fishermen and farmers, who rely on seasonal harvest. Like many struggling families, Josie felt the impact of home quarantine in her hometown, too. “Walang trabaho. Ngayong nasa quarantine period nakakatulong din yung honorarium ko at mga relief ng province, municipal at barangay,” she replies.

Josie previously sew uniforms, curtains and dress from which she earns around Php500 ($10) a piece.

The home quarantine period has also affected her children’s school. “Nakakaapekto sa mga bata dahil hindi sila masyadong nakakalabas at yung college, hindi nila natapos ang second semester,” she says.

As of this writing, the province of Albay is still under the Enhance Community Quarantine until May 15. Under this period, curfew is implemented, a one-meter social distancing rule is in place, no-travel outside of the village, and only one member of the family may go out to buy essentials like food and medicines.

Photo Source: Marites Orogo

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