The shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE) means Filipino frontliners combating the spread of COVID-19 risk their lives every day to ensure the nation’s safety.
But as we all know by now, there are ways to help those who are helping us. Check out Project DOLOR (Deeds of Love for Our Rescuers). It's is a family-run effort that uses donated materials to create personal protective masks for frontliners in the Bicol Region.
“We thought of giving back the love our frontliners deserve to have,” said science teacher, environmentalist, and project leader John Bren M. Dolor.
Dolor previously founded the Plastik ni Langga advocacy program to help fight plastic pollution. When the Department of Health confirmed there were COVID-19 cases in Bicol last March 27, his family quickly mobilized and started Project DOLOR.
With his mother Brenda, sisters Clabelle and Bren-John, and grandmother Jesusa, John Bren are creating personal protective masks (PPMs) for frontliners and healthcare workers.
These PPMs are face shields that cover the entire face. They can be used in conjunction with face masks to offer enhanced protection from the coronavirus. And according to John Bren, each team member can take up to 3 minutes to create a single PPM.
“COVID-19 is getting worse,” said John Bren. “The main aim of the project is to prioritize those who are in the healthcare services.”
Project DOLOR collaborates with chief nurses and doctors in hospitals and clinics to ensure its PPMs are received by those with the greatest risk of infection.
Of course, such a monumental undertaking hasn’t been easy for Project DOLOR. The resources required to make the PPMs are in short supply, and the lockdown has only made it harder to acquire them.
“But there are donors who made everything possible,” said John Bren. “These people made the skeletal workforce of the project.”
He adds, “Since our family aims to make this project sustainable, we believe that through unending collaborations with private individuals, this project will last until sufficient supplies of personal protective equipment (PPEs) for our Bicolano frontliners arrive.”
Project DOLOR is currently accepting donations of the following materials:
- 5 yards of hard plastic cover
- 10 yards of garter
- 50 glue sticks
- 50 pieces of cleaning sponges
As of writing, Project DOLOR has already donated to a number of institutions, frontliners, and healthcare workers in Albay, including Barangay Calzada and the Rural Health Unit in Jovellar; the Rural Health Unit in Oas; Josefina Belmonte Duran Memorial District Hospital (JBDMDH) and Zone Medical Intervention Hospital in Ligao City; and Bicol Regional Training and Teaching Hospital (BRTTH) in Legazpi City.
Many more are waiting for additional PPMs.
“Project DOLOR will never be possible without collaboration,” said John Bren. “We encourage some of the constituents to do the same for their own municipalities, if possible. So far, we are receiving requests from Santo Domingo and Guinobatan—both municipalities from Albay.”
Thankfully, a number of municipality constituents are already offering services similar to Project DOLOR’s in their respective barangays.
“John Leo Longavela, my friend, will be working in Barangay Magsaysay, to make sure every frontliner is safe from COVID-19. Jhamie Lee Adrao, my cousin, will also be working for Barangay Santo Niño,” said John Bren.
Project DOLOR wishes to thank the following donors: Kathreen Jade Ogao, Mary Jane Eliseo, Aileen Elaurza, Jhamie Lee Adrao, Cariza Mae Mojar, Perpetual Socorro Orenciada, Mary Ann Marticio, Mae Nacion, Vanessa de Leon, Dra. Ivy Amparo Orolfo, Engr. Daniel Londono, Ronald Titular, Jedel Torre, and Lourdes Armado.
Those who wish to donate can contact John Bren M. Dolor via his Facebook account. — LA, GMA News