Community & Service 16 Jun 2020

CIS project wellness

By CIS Communications
Photograph by Tanya V and Crystal C

Many CIS students and teachers reached out to help others during the circuit breaker. One shining example was Ms Tanya V (Art technician) and Ms Crystal C (grade 3 teacher) who, on top of their busy schedules, took the time to make 160 face masks for Project Wellness - an initiative that distributes handmade masks to those in need in Singapore. We spoke to Tanya and Crystal to find out more. 

Why did you ladies decide to make face masks?
Crystal: We wanted to help out the community and people in need. Tanya and I were looking around for charities to help when we first heard of the cases in the workers’ dormitories. At that time, there was more of a demand for face masks. I am in a Facebook sewing group where I found the contact for Project Wellness so we reached out to them to get the pattern and video instructions on how to sew the masks. Once we agreed that we would be able to sew using their pattern and requirements, they mailed us a kit with the instructions, uncut fabric, wire, and elastic.

What was it like working with Project Wellness?
Crystal: The coordinators of the project were enthusiastic, organised and helpful in answering questions. They proudly shared everyone’s work on their Whatsapp group and Facebook page thanking everyone who helped make them. We chose them because they were very organised and had all the kits ready to go. All we had to do was to give them our address and they would hire a contactless courier to send it to our doorstep. Once we got the kits, we started our work.

What was the biggest challenge?
Crystal: The biggest challenge was that it was physically straining to sit for so long in a sewing position and working late into the night. Our wrists and backs were aching from all the cutting and sewing. 

Any memorable moments?
Crystal: We felt positive because we knew that we were helping out our community and we were very happy when we mailed our masks out to the coordinator. 

Tanya: There was a lot of late night sewing, but the Whatsapp group we were in was very positive and supportive by sharing tips on how to make our masks better. I also roped my son, Iwan (grade 11), into the production process where he added the finishing touches - the nose wires and ear elastics. He worked really hard at it so I’m very proud of him.

How can the CIS community help during this time?
Crystal: If anyone would like to help, they can donate supplies, like fabric, wires for the nose piece, and/or elastic. They can also help by going to the charity’s Facebook page and purchasing some masks. Only some masks are kept to sell so that Project Wellness can use the money made to buy more supplies. Some supplies that they have came from people around the community who donated them. 

Is there anyone you’d like to thank? 
Tanya: I’d like to thank Ms Joanna L (CIS General Manager) and Mr Lionel Y (Head of Facilities) for allowing me to use one of the sewing machines and threads from our secondary makerspace.