Sunday, February 25, 2024
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Dialogue shines light on youth empowerment, challenges

Bank Islam Brunei Darussalam (BIBD) yesterday held a virtual engagement and dialogue session with the Brunei Youth Council and over 90 representatives from youth-related non-governmental organisations (NGO’s) in the country, as part of the bank’s efforts to gain a better understanding on the concerns and challenges facing the country’s youth, and discover new areas and potential for collaboration.

BIBD’s Acting Managing Director and CEO, Hajah Noraini binti Haji Sulaiman said, “As a Partner in Progress for the nation, youth empowerment has always been a cause that is near and dear to our hearts. Being a bank that is Bruneian at Heart, BIBD believes there is no greater investment in our future than to focus on how we can empower, support and encourage our youth.”

She added, “We wanted to hear directly from our youth and the groups that work closely with youth to understand the issues and challenges that they face, and how BIBD as an organisation can help them. In Shaa Allah, this dialogue can be the starting point for many meaningful and beneficial collaborations that will ultimately bring greater growth and development for our youth as we move towards achieving Brunei Vision 2035.”

Also present at the virtual dialogue was Legislative Council member and President of the Brunei Youth Council Yang Berhormat Khairunnisa binti Haji Ash’ari.

The dialogue session began with a briefing on BIBD’s business activities and corporate social responsibility programmes and the group’s sustainability roadmap, many of which are youth-related.

Community for Brunei, for example, is a virtual platform for community causes which is run by youth, and was recently named Best Emerging Social Enterprise in the Brunei Special Award Category at the ASEAN Business Awards 2021.

Another of BIBD’s CSR programmes, BIBD ALAF, is a support programme that extends financial and education assistance to underprivileged but exceptional youth. BIBD SEED a programme focussed on nurturing entrepreneurship among women too gained attention among the NGOs present during the dialogue.

Initiatives such as BIBD Youth Empowerment Summit (BIBD YES!) hosted by BIBD for the past two years were also part of the platform that potentially can assist the youth to be empowered with knowledge, skills and to network with professionals across the industry as part of the exposure through mentoring and coaching.

Among the topics discussed during the dialogue were entrepreneurship and financial education, the importance of mentorship as well as issues related to sustainability and mental health awareness.

NGO representatives expressed appreciation for such a platform for engagement and felt the session was engaging and timely.

BIBD views youth development as a crucial pillar of the Bank’s corporate sustainability which in turn, is an investment in the country’s future. BIBD believes in collaboration and partnership with key strategic stakeholders and partners to ensure that all collaborations and activities coordinated by the bank and its strategic partners from the government agencies, corporates and private sector are aligned and supporting Brunei Vision 2035 by taking a Whole of Nation Approach, in line with BIBD’s role as a Partner in Progress – hence contributing to long-term and sustainable outcomes for all parties involved.

Legislative Council Member and President of the Brunei Youth Council Yang Berhormat Khairunnisa binti Haji Ash’ari and BIBD’s Acting Managing Director and CEO, Hajah Noraini binti Haji Sulaiman with participants during the dialogue. PHOTO:BIBD