| Hakim Hayat |
MORE than half of the participants in the seventh edition of an empowerment programme for zakat recipients (PROPAZ) handled by the Ministry of Religious Affairs (MoRA) have secured private sector jobs in different areas of expertise upon conclusion of a nine-month skill training.
All 22 programme participants received their certificates yesterday from Dato Seri Setia Haji Abdul Aziz bin Orang Kaya Maharaja Lela Haji Yusof, Permanent Secretary at MoRA, as well as Dato Paduka Awang Haji Mohd Hamid bin Haji Jaafar, Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Culture of Youth and Sports (MCYS) in a ceremony held at the MoRA building to mark the conclusion of the training programme.
The PROPAZ participants, who are Zakat money recipients from underprivileged backgrounds, each underwent a three-month theoretical and practical basic training at the Youth Development Centre in different skill areas including Technology and Communication, Culinary Art and Banquet & Pastry & Confectionary, Technical Skills and Beauty Therapy.
A further six months of the programme involved hands-on training through apprenticeships in various private companies, enabling them to experience challenges in a real working environment.
According to Acting Brunei Islamic Council Secretary Haji Abdul Aziz bin Haji Akop, 12 participants of the programme’s 2013-2014 session have been hired through the programme.
He also said that since the programme’s inception in 2007, 71 per cent of the 173 PROPAZ leavers had either successfully secured jobs with the government or private sector or pursued with own businesses.
Dato Seri Setia Haji Abdul Aziz said the programme was a “golden opportunity” to enhance the livelihood and standard of living of the participants and their families.
He urged them to leverage on the training and continue working harder and grab the opportunities available, especially in entrepreneurship.
The programme, fully funded by the Department of Brunei Islamic Council through Zakat collection, is intended to help recipients sustain their lives with their own source of income by empowering and changing their mindsets through vocational and technical skill training.
The programme is one of MoRA’s many projects and efforts in eradicating poverty through innovative means.
PROPAZ will begin its next programme in May this year.
Meanwhile, best performing participants were awarded in the ceremony, which also saw the presentation of appreciation certificates to strategic partners of the programme including those in the government and private sectors.