| Ishan Ibrahim |
A DELEGATION of five Bruneians left for Laos to participate in the 5th Asean Young Professionals Volunteer Corps (AYPVC) programme, being held from December 12-25 in the Lao Ngam District.
The delegation comprises Awang Kamarulzaman bin Haji Timbang, Sharon Lim Meau Ying, Dk Salimatul Sa’ada binti Pg Mohd Saleh, Sahnora Snayudi bin Sidup and Muhammad Habri bin Ibrahim, who are joining other volunteers representing Asean member states.
A platform initiated by the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports of Brunei Darussalam, with the aims of promoting the spirit of collaboration and togetherness among young people through community work at the grassroots level, the AYPVC was endorsed last year at the 8th Asean Ministerial Meeting on Youth, in Bandar Seri Begawan.
The expedition to Laos is the fifth edition of the AYPVC project, following successful visits to Cambodia, Indonesia, the Philippines and Vietnam.
Awang Kamarulzaman said the group will engage in community work in rural areas such as helping to construct houses, cleaning up the environment and other activities deemed beneficial to local residents.
The AYPVC programmes that are managed by volunteers, Fatin Arifin and Khairunnisa Ash’ari, have mobilised over 120 youth and young professionals from various backgrounds and expertise since 2013.
The project in Laos will focus on the development of women, youth and children through entrepreneurship and the development of skills.
Volunteers will conduct workshops, facilitate training activities and teach new skills that support the progress of women and young people in areas such as marketing, financial planning, leadership and confidence building.
The volunteers selected for the expedition come from backgrounds including entrepreneurship, education, consultancy, marketing, psychology and social work.
AYPVC Laos is organised with the support of the Lao Youth Union and Village Focus International (VFI).
The programme taps into the existing Protection and Empowerment of Women and Children (PEWC) programme that is run by VFI and is aimed at preventing human trafficking through community mobilisation and the provision of services to those already victimised by this illegal industry.
The objectives include promoting awareness of the regional bloc among the communities through the exchange of knowledge and understanding of the different cultures in support of the development of one Asean Community.
Acting Director of the Youth Development Centre, Fauziah binti Hj Mohd Salleh, bid the delegation farewell at the Brunei International Aiport.