The Community Development Department (JAPEM) under the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports (MCYS) is the agency for national orphans registration. As of December 2021, there are 4,001 registered orphans of which 2,094 are boys and 1,907 girls.
JAPEM manages the Orphan Fund set up in 1980s to assist registered orphans and collect donations from the public during Ramadhan.
This was said by Permanent Secretary (Community and Culture) at the MCYS Hajah Nor Ashikin binti Haji Johari during the agreement signing ceremony between the MCYS and Bank Islam Brunei Berhad (BIBD) yesterday.
The permanent secretary said, “The government of His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Sa’adul Khairi Waddien, Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam entrusted JAPEM to assist the orphans in the Sultanate. Apart from collecting donations during Ramadhan, the department also works with BIBD through its Advocating Life-long Learning for an Aspiring Future (ALAF) Programme.
“The programme initiated since 2013 is part of BIBD’s corporate social responsibility (CSR) focussing on children, particularly students, to get access to education to help them lead a better life in the future.
“Taking into account Orphan Fund’s objective of supporting the welfare and well-being of underprivileged orphans, the Orphan Scholarship Programme is initiated to grant scholarship to BIBD ALAF Programme.
“Among the criteria of joining the scholarship programme are: an orphan registered under JAPEM; and a recipient of the Monthly Welfare Assistance (BKB).
“The programme is aimed at providing support for orphans to escape the cycle of poverty. It also answers the calls for integrated whole-of-government and whole-of-nation approach to lightening the burden of orphans and their guardians, especially with extra educational equipment for the new normal of online learning.
“To bring the country on par with the Industrial Revolution 4.0 and adapting to new technology, the MCYS will introduce online registration for orphans this year. Not only will it ease the process, it will be a data portal for other programmes that are beneficial to orphans.”
Acting Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of BIBD Berhad Hajah Noraini bitni Haji Sulaiman said the agreement allows two JAPEM-registered students to participate in the BIBD ALAF Programme. The scholarship will cover stationery, school and tuition fees as well as a leadership empowerment programme.
Since BIBD ALAF’s inception, countless students have received help to enhance academic performance and produce youth equipped with life skills demanded by industries, Hajah Noraini said.