San Carlos community sews improvised masks against COVID-19

April 22, 2020

San Carlos community sews improvised masks against COVID-19
Jeramie Abadies-Eslais, president of the Parent-Teacher Association of Talave Elementary School works on an improvised face mask using one of the sewing machines donated by San Carlos Sun Inc. (SacaSun) in November 2019.

Barely six months since AboitizPower subsidiary San Carlos Sun Power Inc. (SacaSun) turned over four sewing machines to its host community, the local beneficiaries see the value of the equipment in more ways than intended.

What were supposed to be tools to help sew student uniforms and classroom curtains for Talave Elementary School in Barangay Punao, San Carlos City, Negros Occidental, the sewing machines donated last November 2019 are now being used to make improvised face masks against COVID-19.

“Masks are hard to come by and this was our way of helping control the spread of the virus while making sure the women in our community have the means to feed their families,” Talave Elementary School Principal Nelson Limot said.

The project started last year when SacaSun noticed that members of the group spent idle times waiting for their children to finish school. With the right tools and proper knowledge, SacaSun envisions the beneficiaries will be able to effect change in their community and provide additional incomes for their families. Prior to donating sewing equipment to the Mother's Care Association, a group of mothers whose children attend Talave Elementary School, 40 of the women were trained in basic dressmaking and tailoring.

When the pandemic struck and brought uncertainty to their livelihood last March 2020, these mothers saw the silver lining in their predicament. Using raw materials from Bacolod City that were supposed to be used to make rags, the group of women helped fill the need for personal protective equipment in their community.

“During these trying times, when earnings are scarce, it is a bonus to have these sewing machines to provide us with an alternative means of livelihood,” Talave Elementary School Parent-Teacher Association President Jeramie Eslais said.

SacaSun Plant Manager Wilfredo Sarmago lauded the community’s initiative, adding that they are glad to have been given the opportunity to contribute to the group’s success.

“When most people are affected economically because of this pandemic, it is encouraging to hear that the women’s group of Talave Elementary School are touching lives and building communities even during a national crisis,” he said.

SacaSun, a wholly-owned subsidiary of AboitizPower, operates the 59-MW utility-scale solar photovoltaic power plant located in San Carlos, Negros Occidental. It is committed to co-creating safe, empowered, and sustainable communities through its various corporate social responsibility programs, community sponsorships, and ER 1-94 projects.

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