Keeping Hope Alive Amid Worries

Since the pandemic spread, Omah Kaos clothing factory lost its income by 90 percent. Omah Kaos is now a partner of Aksi Cepat Tanggap (ACT) in the provision of 1,000,000 masks.

Omah Kaos Tailors sewing thousands of ACT face masks for ACT’s Humanitarian Programs. (ACTNews / Fhirlian Rizqi)

ACTNews, BEKASI - Wisnu Erfian (40) did not expect the clothing factory he established 21 years ago would be chosen as a partner of Aksi Cepat Tanggap (ACT) in producing one million masks for its Humanitarian programs.

Wisnu is the owner of Omah Kaos, a clothing factory based in Mustikajaya, Bekasi City. Wisnu said that he is very grateful for partnering with ACT. With this partnership, his business can continue running. This partnership keeps hope alive amid worries and uncertainty.

Wisnu said, Omah Kaos had 24 employees, and although it is not a big business, but it has also been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Omah Kaos, which previously focused on producing sports apparel and uniforms as well as screen printing, has a production capacity of 20,000 pieces per month. Since the pandemic, Wisnu claimed, the demand dropped dramatically by 90 percent. "To be honest, since the outbreak, there’s almost no demand. I feel sorry for the employees who received no income, "Wisnu said to ACTNews, Monday (4/20).

The masks distributed by ACT were sewn and screen printed at Omah Kaos. (ACTNews / Fhirlian Rizqi)

Because the massive impacts of coronavirus which also include economic impact, Wisnu had to find ways so that his business can continue running. Finally, he saw an opportunity when the demand for face masks soared.

"Finally, we shifted from producing t-shirts to producing cloth masks. Alhamdulillah, our salespeople can sell it to the market. I told them not to sell too expensively. The price that I set is IDR 3,000 each piece. It must not be too expensive because many people need them," said Wisnu.

His efforts paid off. His clothing factory has been slowly getting out of the crisis caused by the pandemic. Over 80 thousand pieces of fabric masks have been produced and sold since the corona in early March.

He is very hopeful and enthusiastic for the partnership program with ACT to produce one million pieces of mask. "Initially, I know about this partnership from a friend who advised me to join the production of one million masks. Alhamdulillah, after we applied, the team from ACT received our data, then the partnership was initiated as the masks that we produce meet ACT’s standard," he added.

To support the program, Omah Kaos produces around 2,000 pieces of face masks made of three-layered combed cloth. Wisnu is very happy for the partnership with ACT because he can re-employ his workers and revive his business.

"Alhamdulillah, we thank you very much. I think not only about myself, but also about my employees and how they can support their families. In addition, I can also participate in maintaining the community’s health with the masks that we produce," Wisnu said.

In this program, ACT involved a total of 74 MSMEs and 338 tailors in nine provinces, 30 regencies and cities. This program became one of ACT's masterpiece programs in economic recovery during the pandemic.

Wisnu hoped that similar partnership programs can continue to be initiated to support MSMEs and to economically empower the community.

"Alhamdulillah, we can continue operating by producing masks. Hopefully, such program can continue so that we can continue working. This coronavirus really affects our income," said one of the Omah Kaos employees, Erwin (40). []