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A helping hand to those in need

Rokiah Mahmud

Following the completion of the month of Ramadhan, Muslims in Brunei Darussalam are celebrating Hari Raya Aidilfitri with happiness and cheers, while also being thankful for opportunities and blessings from Allah the Almighty.

In celebrating the occasion, we should not forget those unable to celebrate due to financial difficulties and are underprivileged.

In seeking blessings, rewards and expressing care in the month of Ramadhan, various government and private agencies, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) as well as individuals have lent a helping hand by reaching out to the community through sedekah (giving alms) for the needy, underprivileged students and their families as well as orphans in all four districts.

The charitable acts include those being carried out as part of the annual corporate social responsibility (CSR) projects in showing the care and concern for the welfare and well-being of the recipients.

Among the many agencies is Yayasan Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah (Yayasan), a charitable platform 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 and members of the royal family in portraying the care for the welfare and well-being of the citizens and residents of Brunei Darussalam.

Yayasan conducted their annual Ihsan Yayasan Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Programme to help alleviate the expenditure of the needy, particularly during the month of Ramadhan, so that these groups could perform their fasting obligation in a proper manner and at ease, while at the same time celebrate Hari Raya Aidilfitri.

Brunei-United States Association volunteers with food aid. PHOTO: BUSA
Yayasan Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah staff carrying provisions. PHOTO: YAYASAN SULTAN HAJI HASSANAL BOLKIAH

This year through the programme, the foundation handed over contributions amounting to BND150,400 in the form of monetary and food essentials allocated to 150 families in Brunei-Muara, Tutong, Belait and Temburong districts. The recipients comprised senior citizens and the needy.

During the handing over of the assistance, the recipients expressed gratitude and thankfulness to His Majesty as well as the foundation for providing the assistance that brings much relief to the recipients and their families.

At the same time, the assistance that the families received will be used for beneficial needs, not only in the month of Ramadhan and Syawal, but also for their day-to-day needs.

Another organisation helping the needy is the Brunei-United States Association (BUSA), which collaborated with a local NGO, Brunei Four Wheel Drive Association (BFWDA), to organise a charity expedition focussing on those in need in the Temburong District.

The project’s objective, among others, was to build a strong platform of collaboration and foster closer ties among members and the community involved, and at the same time enhance and empower awareness on the meaning of being generous in helping the underprivileged individuals and families, particularly in the month of Ramadhan, as well as spread happiness, cheer and joy during Hari Raya Aidilfitri celebration.

As part of the expedition, BUSA visited 14 families from several villages including Kampong Piasau-Piasau, Kampong Belingus, Kampong Selangan and Kampong Menengah.

The 14 families received basic grocery items such as canned food, sacks of rice, condiments, noodles, oil and other essentials donated by the public. Children of these families also received green packets. BUSA was founded in the 30th year of diplomatic relations between Brunei Darussalam and the United States (US), and strives to better provide platforms for network exchanges, collaboration and friendship across nation.

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