Implementing Higher Education Tri Dharma, International Relations Department FISIP UNAIR holds mask sewing activity

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One of the participants sewing the mask (Photo: FISIP UNAIR)
One of the participants sewing the mask (Photo: FISIP UNAIR)

UNAIR NEWS – It is essential for science to be used for the benefit of many people. Although it sounds cliché, it is rarely realized in our life, including in academic activities. Academic institutions are not only obliged to educating, teaching, doing research, and developing science. As stated in the Tri-Dharma, an academic institution is also demanded to provide scientific offerings dedicated to making a better society.

As a result, people tend to be skeptical of academic institutions and label them as “Ivory Tower”; a term that describes universities and colleges as institutions that are always idealistic (abstract knowledge of life) and rarely realistic (real life in society).

In the academic life of the Orange Campus (FISIP), this stigma was successfully removed by the academics of FISIP UNAIR through a series of community service activities. One of its real manifestations has just been implemented by the Department of International Relations, FISIP UNAIR, which has organized the “Activity of Sewing Masks against Covid” for the last few months. Starting from March 22nd, 2020, this series of voluntary activities consists of recruiting volunteers, raising funds, collecting materials, and distributing masks to the public.

This activity was held due to the concern of the Department of IR FISIP UNAIR regarding the lack of masks use among the society. “The public cannot be blamed entirely, considering the high price of masks is one of the main reasons. Moreover, scuba-type masks, which are cheaper, have now been banned by the government. These facts then encourage us to contribute to overcoming the effects of the pandemic by creating a Mask Sewing Activity.” said Irfa Puspitasari, Head of Community Service for Indonesian Sewing Masks to Fight against Covid.

In the process, the Department of IR FISIP UNAIR collaborated with the Millennial Women’s Mask Sewing Community regarding the operation of making masks. Furthermore, the IR Department of FISIP UNAIR also recruited some professional and amateur tailors, including Yens Pondok Jahit, and Sinai Clothing & Screen Printing.

“We also invite housewives, civil servants, entrepreneurs and various other community groups from several cities, from Cilegon, Trenggalek, Kediri, Surabaya, and Malang Raya, who are willing to be volunteers in this program,” said Aviantif, Secretary for Millennial Women’s Mask Sewing. Uniquely, this activity also involved assistance and support among Indonesian migrant workers in Hong Kong.

These masks were distributed directly distributed to health agencies and other government agencies. These agencies can support the distribution of masks among the public. Thus, this activity is also expected to minimize the community’s dependence on surgical masks so that their allocation can be prioritized to medical personnel who need it more.

Not only in Indonesia, but this kind of movement has also actually been initiated in various countries such as Hong Kong, Czech, and Taiwan. It is a form of global solidarity in facing the pandemic. “Then, by creating the Mask Sewing Activity, we hope that the efforts we and our partners make can contribute to strengthen the solidarity of the nation and state, as well as the world community in dealing with this COVID-19 pandemic together,” said Baiq LSW Wardhani, one of the team members in this community service.

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