The Brunei Council on Social Welfare (MKM) marked its 10th anniversary with mass Maghrib and Isyak prayers and a Doa Selamat at Rashidah Sa’adatul Bolkiah Mosque in Kampong Sungai Akar recently.
Minister of Defence II Pehin Datu Lailaraja Major General (Rtd) Dato Paduka Seri Haji Awang Halbi bin Haji Mohd Yussof attended the event.
Some 150 MKM clients as well as current and former MKM executive members also attended.
MKM is a non-government organisation (NGO) registered under the Societies Act on December 2, 2009. Its objectives include assisting individuals in need. Throughout the year, MKM runs welfare programmes to assist the needy. These include a school breakfast scheme where 300 students are given breakfast every school day, a monthly basic necessity food programme where families are rationed basic food necessities per month, and a back-to-school programme where MKM purchases school necessities for its clients’ children at the start of every school year.
During Ramadhan, MKM also distributes food to clients and fetes them to breaking fast dinners.
MKM runs an education fund to assist deserving needy students with their school or university fees, transportation to school as well as in buying laptops for those in tertiary education.
Empowerment programme in farming, tailoring and cooking are also organised to provide a life skill to clients so that they can be financially independent.
“We are focussed on trying to assist our clients to break out of the poverty cycle many find themselves to be in. Providing education for their children and life skills for the adults has proven to be an effective way of doing this,” said MKM President Mohd Yusof bin Shaik Abdul Halim.
MKM also runs a fortnightly ‘Legal and Advisory Clinic’ on Wednesday evenings from the Yusof Halim & Partners office. Most who attend the clinic seek guidance on how to get financial assistance from the authorities or from MKM directly.
About a tenth of those who come to the clinic needs legal assistance. Pro bono legal assistance is given in deserving cases.
MKM through its panel of lawyers supporting this programme has taken not less than 40 cases to court on behalf of its clients.
MKM will also attend to urgent repairs of clients’ houses by raising funds or seeking sponsors to assist in these repairs.
A fund raising concert is being organised on January 4, to raise funds to repair the house of one of its clients, an 80-year-old lady in Kampong Madang.
Regionally, MKM has also assisted the needy in Limbang, Miri, Kota Kinabalu and Surabaya. It has a continuous humanitarian programme for the Rohingyan refugees in Bangladesh, where it runs a school for 500 refugee children and orphans.
MKM almost totally relies on public donation to run all its programmes.
Mohd Yusof said “We are indebted to all our donors for their continuous and unwavering support in our programmes. It is very humbling to note that we have earned their trust over all these years. We hope to continue to build on this trust and be of service to the country by assisting in the welfare of the needy.”