Binibining Pilipinas

Volunteer your skills during the lockdown through these initiatives

Tristan Zinampan
Here are some initiatives where we can share our skills and time to help out during the coronavirus crisis


MANILA, Philippines – I write this as I find myself hard-of-sleeping.

As my cabin fever settles in with the anxiety of waiting for what new protocols will be announced over the nightly press conferences, as they come together with the frustration of seeing what our fellow countrymen are going through (along with the out-of-touch elites that can’t stop sharing their tone-deaf thoughts of social media), I realize that what keeps me up is this feeling of resignation, of helplessness.

I tell myself this: you are stuck at home, just in front of your computer. You are not like other reporters nor health workers, nor your government friends out in the frontlines. You are privileged enough to be able to stay at home and “work,” but you are not privileged enough too to throw your hard-earned cash to those in need. 

Call it imposter syndrome, call it barriers of capability, call it whatever. What I do know is I want to help, even in my own little way. And I think many feel the same way too.

To help us all out, here are some initiatives where we can share our skills.

Be a volunteer translator

If you can speak a local language or dialect, you can help this group of volunteers translating self-assessment kits, primers, and info materials on COVID-19. 

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The group also posts daily “translation challenges,” where they ask for help in translating whatever new materials the Department of Health (DOH) and the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) release.

They are also in need of proofreaders. You can learn more by joining their Facebook group here.

Write or do graphic design for the RITM

As reported by our friends at Candy, the RITM needs graphic artists, writers, and even social media practitioners to help them craft educational materials on COVID-19.

You can volunteer by signing up via this Google form or by shooting an email at communications@ritm.gov.ph.

Drive healthworkers

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With public transport down, health workers need a means of getting to their places of work.

Rock Ed, an alternative education NGO, started a Facebook group with the goal of helping health workers move around safely via volunteer carpool drivers.

Before volunteering though, drivers are required to watch 3 educational videos as well as follow guidelines in disenfecting their vehicles.

Join the Facebook group through this link or sign up as a volunteer here.

Sew some face masks

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Surgical masks are low in supply these days. And though, cloth masks are not as effective as surgical masks (just like how surgical masks are not as effective as N95 masks), health professionals still argue that they are better than nothing. (You have to wash them every day with soap and water, though.)

Sew Easy Learning Studio just released its sewing pattern, which you can download for free. You can make masks for yourself, for your loved ones, or you can even donate them.

Come up with “hacks”

 #LockdownLab bills itself as “a think tank for open source solutions and hacks to help each other survive the current pandemic” and as a “repository of resources and survival tips for COVID-19 lockdown.”

Many members are using the group as a platform for support of their individual efforts and solutions. You can join the group via this link

Volunteer at Rappler’s MovePH

MovePH, Rappler’s civic engagement arm, is currently focused on crowdsourcing and addressing community needs to this coronavirus crisis. They are looking for organizations and groups that are interested and willing to help those who are in need. They will also need help in managing their online community. 

If interested in volunteering, email move@rappler.com.

Link up your contacts to this Sanitation Tent initiative 

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A team of Industrial Designers, Chemists, and Engineers from the UP Diliman is designing an affordable and easy-to-build sanitation tent that can hopefully be used at hospitals, bus stops, train stations, offices, groceries, and public markets.

They are still finalizing the design, but once it’s done, they need help disseminating the information to institutions and LGUs. Visit tinyurl.com/covidsanitationtent to add LGU contacts.

(UPDATE) SaniTents PH is now also in need of registered chemists.

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Cook hot meals for communities and health workers

Covid19 Food Drive PH has been around for some time. Starting in 2009, it was previously called the Enderun Community Drive and was formed in the aftermath of Ondoy.

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From Ondoy to Sendong to Ompong, they’re back again, this time, helping create a pool of restaurants and individuals who can prepare meals that will be delivered to chosen barangays around Metro Manila. (Their target is to distribute 10,000 meals a day.)

If you have a small and medium-sized food business or want to help out as an individual with the meal preparations, contact Patricia Bautista at 0977-6266452.

Those Cainta-based may also try volunteering as a cook for this food drive.

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You may contact Haydee Torres at +63950 688 1686, Malen Manait at +63916 451 0523, or Fiona Fajardo at +63921 665 2087 for more information.

Make good art

If you’re an artist, you might want to join the #ArtforMedPH call on Twitter.

In a nutshell, artists online are encouraging people to donate to healthcare front-liners and other campaigns of their choice. Free art commisions will then be offered to those who show their donation receipts.

Feel free to add your own #ArtforMedPH mechanics to this thread.

We will be updating this list. So, if there are more skill-based initiatives that you know of, email us hustle@rappler.com.

If you want to be involved in other efforts to help our front-liners, or if you prefer to send donations, you can also check out our other article. (READ: LIST: How to help healthcare workers, front-liners during coronavirus pandemic) 

Lastly, #CourageOn. Rappler.com 

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