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Brunei
Thursday, February 9, 2023
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Brunei
Thursday, February 9, 2023
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    Celebrating the young and inspirational

    Farhan Julaihi

    It was a day of acknowledgement for award recipients during the National Youth Day Celebration at the 16th International Convention Centre (ICC) in Berakas yesterday.

    The Excellent Youth Award 2021 was presented to Chong Chin Yee, a mentor and an inspiration to fellow youth dreaming of building a successful career in the entrepreneurship domain.

    Chong’s journey began during her university years, when she started a non-profit organisation (NGO) aimed at environmental protection.

    After university, she became a teacher at Tutong Sixth Form Centre and established a recycling club to nurture students’ keen on protecting the environment. Through that opportunity, she received international recognition for building an eco hut from water bottles, winning a regional green award in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

    After this success, she realised she could do much more, and ventured into the business world.

    Chong said, “I introduced Startup Brunei, which is a startup builder to complement Darussalam Enterprise (DARe). Our aim is to bring in regional or international expertise and mentors to deliver talks to Bruneians and better expose them to how startup businesses operate outside Brunei. That went very well.”

    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 awards Muhd Syahmi bin Halimshah. PHOTOS: ROKIAH MAHMUD & BAHYIAH BAKIR
    ABOVE & BELOW: Chong Ching Yee, Kwan Pei Yun and Siti Kailene binti Mohd Jazlan Kashfi

    She then opened Memori BN Ent, a platform providing accessible and affordable legacy planning solutions helping people to plan for the later parts of their lives. Chong’s thirst for success continues, and she also hopes to help Brunei’s underprivileged.

    Chong said, “I want to inspire youth to take the initiative to seek opportunities outside Brunei, to believe in themselves, and believe in Brunei – that we have talent and potential, and we can achieve great things like the youth overseas. As long as you work hard and believe in it, go for it and you’ll achieve it one day.”

    Meanwhile, Youth Service Award recipient Muhd Syahmi bin Halimshah is a prime example of an independent volunteer.

    Becoming a Scout at the age of 13, he said, “My journey began in 2000, when I was in Year 7 and I remain active until today.”

    Muhd Syahmi’s primary goal is to help others, being the reason behind why he signed up for the Brunei Darussalam Scouts Association. Going through his fair share of hardship, he said, “The journey was quite long and it holds different learning curves such as how to organise events and how to encourage people to join the programme.”

    His advice to youth is “always be brave to step forward. If you have something in mind, then you need to make it a reality. Do things that will benefit society and do not procrastinate”.

    Young Youth Leaders Award recipient Kwan Pei Yun said her eagerness to learn new things is what has shaped her to be who she is today.

    “I have always been interested in learning and finding out more. I first started with the Brunei English Language Teachers Association – that taught me how to do volunteer work and how to work with officials from other ministries”.

    After being elected to teach drama, she joined the Brunei Amateur Dramatic Society, and had the opportunity to participate in minor roles. Eventually she earned recognition from the World Championship Performing Arts (WCPO) team Brunei’s national director and soon after, her life changed.

    She said, “In 2014, I got a scholarship to New York Film Academy where I also obtained a few medals. When I came back, it pushed me more.”

    Her advice, “Find out what you are interested in, learn it and continue to do it. I did not choose to be a leader. I found something I enjoyed and I learnt it and shared it with others. We formed connections and that is what brought me here. Go out there and find something you love and do your best and make your country proud.”

    Meanwhile, Siti Kailene binti Mohd Jazlan Kashfi, the winner of excellent project by youth, started her journey by establishing HIV/AIDS Awareness Programme For Peers And Youth (HAPPY).

    The project has involved over 10,000 people. The HAPPY programme is a youth-led project to raise awareness on HIV.

    Her advice, “If there is a problem or difficulty faced by society, we must always find a solution – just like we did with HAPPY”.

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