Lending a helping hand in COVID-19 fight

Izah Azahari

AKK Design, Sparks Co and MyFavoureat Kopitiam recently joined forces with Cerita Fabrikku and Green Brunei in producing 2,000 face shields as part of their corporate social responsibility (CSR) despite the gloomy outlook for businesses in the country.

According to Sparks Co Director Nurul Adibah binti Hamdani, the project was first initiated by Cerita Fabrikku, who created the first prototype of the disposable face shields for medical frontliners. An Instagram post from Fera Health and Nursing Care soon attracted the attention of companies that were looking to make contribution.

Cerita Fabrikku and Green Brunei had pledged to provide 10,000 face shields to the Ministry of Health (MoH), under the guidance of Legislative Council (LegCo) member Yang Berhormat Nik Hafimi binti Abdul Haadii and with support from Green Brunei volunteers, led by LegCo member Yang Berhormat Khairunnisa binti Haji Ash’ari.

Nurul Adibah said, “After finding out about the project, we (Spark Co, AKK Design and MyFavoureat Kopitiam) decided to not only provide the funding, but also lessen the burden of the volunteers by producing 2,000 of these face shields ourselves.

“Because of the target, we had six to eight people working together to assemble the face shields. On the first day alone, we produced 500 face shields.”

Volunteers assemble disposable face shields for medical frontliners. PHOTOS: RAHWANI ZAHARI
A signboard detailing the rules and regulations is seen near a workstation where volunteers assemble face shields

While she admitted that for businesses such as AKK Design and Sparks Co, which serve customers in social settings, are taking the brunt of the COVID-19 measures, she said, “It is important to be understanding and supportive of one another in these trying times. For the time being, we just want to help the community by any means, be it making face shields or assisting the needy.”

She applauded MyFavoureat Kopitiam for answering to the call by the government to provide meals for the medical frontliners during the early days of the outbreak.

“MyFavoureat Kopitiam has since pledged to provide 70 meals for lunch and another 70 for dinner every day,” she said. “Over the past month, the eatery has contributed over 4,000 packed meals to Raja Isteri Pengiran Anak Saleha (RIPAS) Hospital.”

The Sparks Co director said the company will continue to support the initiative, though she would like to see the next batch of face shields be more durable so as to reduce waste, a suggestion she had already proposed to YB Khairunnisa.

“They (disposable face shields) may be easy to use,” she said, “but in the long run, durable ones are better for the environment.”

Nurul Adibah called for more companies to lend a helping hand amid the country’s fight against the COVID-19 outbreak, while suggesting that individuals could assist the community by providing home-cooked meals for the needy.

She added, “It is disheartening to see companies temporarily closing their doors, leaving their staff unemployed. But these are difficult times.

“It is best that we heed the government’s advice and follow the rules set by the MoH. We just need to stay strong and fight this outbreak together.”