TOTOBOBO Mask for every children of Merapi

Powerful eruption from Mount Merapi send out huge amount of smoke and ash on November 1, 2010. Photo by Sayoga
Powerful eruption from Mount Merapi send out huge amount of smoke and ash on November 1, 2010. Photo by Sayoga

Over the last several days, Totobobo Masks has been busy trying to collect all the masks possible to give all the children in Merapi, Indonesia. Totobobo masks can protect them from the volcanic ash spewed out by the recent eruption and save lives.

“One TOTOBOBO Mask for every children of Merapi” initiative is the brainchild of Mrs Sri Widowati (Wido). Initially all she could find were small surgical masks in Singapore. For those exposed to volcanic ash, containing large quantities of airborne particles, surgical masks are not very effective. Fortunately, her friend Simon found us online and put Wido in touch with Totobobo.

Visibility is only 10 meters in the northern ring road of Jojakarta
Visibility is only 10 meters in the northern ring road of Jojakarta
Only 10 meters visibility and everywhere covered with thick layers of volcanic ash. Photo by Sayoga
Visibility is low and everywhere is covered with thick layer of volcanic dust in Jojakarta. Photo by Sayoga

Within hours, a donation fund was announced on Widoís Facebook campaign, and cash started pouring in. Aid surged in through her
social networks as news about the disaster unfolded. But another problem stood in the way: transportation. Sending the masks by DHL or
Fedex to Indonesia could take several days. Valuable time can be lost if it gets stuck in customs. The most reliable way is hand-carried by
person. If the masks do not reach Indonesian children immediately, they will suffer longer. Just when that seemed to be irresolvable,
Air Asia Indonesia offered to ship 350 masks and 3500 filters to Merapi

350 pieces of masks and 3500 of filters, to be sent by Air Asia.
350 pieces of masks and 3500 of filters, to be sent by Air Asia.

Special instruction and scissors provided
Special instruction and scissors provided

As of November 1st, Totobobo Masks had managed to collect 350 masks and 3500 filters. We prepared special instructions for customizing the mask for children and even included the scissors for trimming the masks to fit properly. From previous experience with similar
emergencies, we know that the ground staff have limited time and resources. The usefulness of the mask can be compromised if the
ground staff donít know how to customize the masks for the children, or if they canít find a suitable pair of scissors to do a good job. These little things seem trivial, but on site it can mean life or death.

Wido and her friend Din picked up the first 350 masks and 3500 pairs of filters on Friday, 29 October. They were on-board an evening Air
Asia flight from Singapore to Yogyakarta arriving the next day. According to the latest update from Widoís Facebook, after some struggle through customs in Yogyakarta, all of the masks have been successfully delivered to the ground staff.

The volcano Merapi erupted again and everyone need a mask to cover their nose and mouth. Photo by Sayoga.
The volcano Merapi erupted again and everyone need a mask to cover their nose and mouth. Photo by Sayoga.

The volcano in Merapi erupted again yesterday, sending huge amounts of volcanic ash down the mountain. Totobobo masks for children is
desperately needed. We are trying our best to accelerate the production and delivery of masks in order to save the lives of Indonesians affected by this disaster. The donation account set up by Ms. Sri Widowati is still open to contribution. Please send your donation to the following account if you want to contribute, thank you.

Travel advices for asthmatic after the Iceland Eyjafjallajokul volcano eruption

“I’m traveling to London with my girl and I’d like to be prepared for any†volcanic ash needs.”

Murray Kohlhaas is planning a week long trip to Europe and doesn’t want to take any chance with her asthmatic daughter.

parent see through the mask to check face seal
Clear mask allows parent to check the face for child seal easily

The volcanic dust can cause acute asthma attack if the concentration is high. In addition to the inhaler and medicine Murray purchased a transparent mask called†TOTOBOBO for her daughter. She stumbled on this mask when she was reading a website call†free help for cancer.

“This mask is recommended by the parents of cancer patient, and cyclists in most polluted cities use it.† I can count on it to protect my girl.”

The†World Health Organisation (WHO) has advised travelers suffering from asthma and other respiratory disorders to wear masks or stay indoors to avoid potential hazards caused by the recent volcanic ash from Iceland. The effects will begin to sink in when the ash descends and falls on countries across Europe. Analysis of the ash estimated that about 25% of the particles are less than 10 microns in size, which is more dangerous because they can penetrate deeper into the lungs, according to Dr Maria Neira, Director of Public Health and Environment Department at WHO.

Eyjafjallajokull volcano Plume
Eyjafjallajokull volcano plume in Iceland

Travelers with condition of asthma or other respiratory disorders should seek advice from doctors and observe the following precautionary measure:

  • Avoid unnecessary exposure to ash or pollution.
  • Wear a mask if need to go outside. The mask should form a good seal on your face.
  • Keep inhalers and medications at hand.
  • Wear goggles or glasses. Avoid using contact lens.
  • Keep a record of allergens in case of emergency.