| Izah Azahari |
PUSAT Ehsan Al-Ameerah Al-Hajjah Maryam launched its 9th Annual Charity Bazaar at the National Indoor Stadium in Berakas yesterday. The event will run until September 28, 2014.
Present to officially open the event was Pehin Orang Kaya Pekerma Laila Diraja Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Hazair bin Haji Abdullah, Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports.
Also present at the event were the Deputy Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports, Datin Paduka Hajah Adina binti Othman, Pusat Ehsan board of trustees, donors, volunteers and special needs advocates, showing their full support in raising funds for people with special needs attending the centre.
Co-chairman of the organising committee and Education Trustee of Pusat Ehsan, Dato Paduka Dr Haji Omar bin Haji Khalid, expressed in his speech the organisation’s gratitude to the public for their valuable continuous support.
“Currently, around 10 per cent of the total world’s population, or roughly 650 million people, live with a disability. Of them, 80 million are children, while 400 million live in developing countries and 80 million in Africa,” said the co-chairman, explaining the grim statistics of individuals with disabilities around the world. Having a disability places them in the world’s largest minority group which is steadily increasing in number, he added.
The co-chairman said that the strategy for helping those with special needs requires a multi-pronged approach at all levels of society. At the national level, Pusat Ehsan Al-Ameerah Al-Hajjah Maryam joins other charitable organisations to help its special needs people fulfil their full potential and become functional members of an inclusive society, according to the capability of each individual, he added.
“The centre’s vision is to provide them with skills that enable them to lead meaningful lives. We strive to make our activities motivating, relevant and fun, whilst aiming to give each child the best possible skill-set to have an independent life through effective communication and choices,” said the co-chairman.
The event continued with the official opening of the Charity Bazaar by the minister, followed by a speech by one of the students of Pusat Ehsan Al-Ameerah Al-Hajjah Maryam and a tour around the bazaar by the minister.
With the theme ‘I Care, You Care, We Care’, the event aims to achieve the quintessence of supporting people with special needs, in which everyone can take part in advocating each individual with disabilities’ needs and aspirations.
Aside from the bazaar, the event includes a meet-and-greet session with Bruneian artistes, a colouring competition, Jawi writing competition, fitness activities such as Zumba and Bokwa, a bicycle, motorbike and car show, as well as many other activities.
Moreover, a purchase of $5 coupon in support to Pusat Ehsan will entitle a person to a lucky draw, which is scheduled at 5.30pm on Sunday, September 28. The Charity Bazaar is open to the general public from 10am to 10pm.