Amid the suspension of classes, flight cancellations, and border restrictions due to the Corona Virus Diseas 2019 (COVID-19) threat, students from the University of the Philippines Visayas (UPV) who were stranded in their dormitories found a meaningful opportunity to provide help.

Adrian S. Camposagrado, Chairperson of UP Visayas University Student Council, has noted the lack of medical supplies such as face masks, and alcohol.

He said that he and his fellow university student council officers thought about the frontline workers who are risking their lives in combating the spread of the disease and who are greatly affected by the lack of medical supplies.

Students from the University of the Philippines Visayas utilize their time to help medical workers by making improvised face shield. (Photo Courtesy of Hannah Labrador)

“How about the front line workers, the health workers, the nurses, the doctors in the hospitals,” he said.

Through the help of another student, Hannah Labrador, their initiative of making “improvised face shield” was realized.

Camposagrado said that the mother of Labrador who works at Iloilo Mission Hospital, provided the design and the initial materials on how to make improvised face shield.

He said that Labrador’s mother also asked them if they could mobilize other students to engage in this undertaking.

“What if we reach out to other students,” he said, adding that the students did not hesitate to provide help.

He said that they are glad that are also able to raise awareness to other people that front liners such as the health workers need help.

On March 17, the day they started this project, the students were able to produce more than 100 face shields made from acetate, velcro, and foam, for the use of health workers in hospitals and other health facilities.

“Let this be our contribution to one of the most vulnerable sectors in times of health crisis,” he said in his Facebook post.

Now, they have shared this initiative to other youth groups, particularly Sangguniang Kabataan officials in the region.

Through technology and online platforms, they have shared these “Do-It-Yourself” steps and procedures in making improvised face shield.

But the challenge they are facing now is the difficulty in procuring supplies and materials; that is why they have been appealing to establishments that can provide them these materials in order to sustain this initiative

“Acetate, velcro, and foam – these are significant to continue the project,” he said.

Amid this concern, Camposagrado said that the messages they have been receiving, which expressed appreciation and lauded their endeavor, have been steady sources of inspiration.

“The messages that motivate us will continue to inspire us in doing our jobs,” he said.

He also expressed his gratitude to the front liners including medical workers, barangay health workers, barangay captains, military men in checkpoints, among others, who continue to work tirelessly for the public.

“Thank you very much. Saludo kami sa inyo,” he added. (PIA-Iloilo)

Top photo: Students from the University of the Philippines Visayas who were stranded in the dormitories in Miagao Campus find an opportunity to provide assistance to frontliners by making improvised face shields which were distributed to hospitals and health facilities in Iloilo City. (Photo Courtesy of Hannah Labrador)