A guiding light for women

Lyna Mohammad

Since its establishment, the Girl Guides Association of Brunei Darussalam (PPPBD) has seen significant achievements, with the latest being the participation at the 13th Asia Pacific Regional Conference in Taiwan from August 13-17 where PPPNBD was represented by six members led by the deputy chief commissioner.

To date, PPPBD has around 1,800 members comprising Adult and Young Leaders, Ranger Girl Guides, Girl Guides and Brownies from all the four districts covering 77 primary and secondary schools, colleges and higher learning institutions.

Aside from their achievements, PPPBD is one of the most active uniformed associations and has represented the country in many international and regional events and activities.

Some other significant activities over the past two years are the hosting of the General Assembly Friends of Asia Pacific World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS) from March 12-15, 2017 as well as the launching of Green Fingers Project (Projek Jari-Jari Hijau) officiated by Her Royal Highness Princess Hajah Rashidah Sa’adatul Bolkiah, President of the Girl Guides Association of Brunei Darussalam on July 26, 2017.

PPPBD has also engaged in community projects such as ‘Titian Kasih Kemasyarakatan’, ‘Bersungkai with Orphans’, ‘Sedekah Bubur’ and donations to the less fortunate.

To date, PPPBD has around 1,800 members comprising Adult and Young Leaders, Ranger Girl Guides, Girl Guides and Brownies from all the four districts covering 77 primary and secondary schools, colleges and higher learning institutions. PHOTO: BAHYIAH BAKIR

At international and regional levels, the association sent three members – chief commissioner, international commissioner and communication commissioner – to the 36th World Conference WAGGGS in New Delhi, India from September 17-23, 2017.

The association is also active in sending its members to various international activities for training and development, including the Girl Guides Singapore Centenary Camp 2017, George Town Heritage City Girl Guides International Camp 2018, the ‘Be Prepared (BP) Quest 2018 Singapore’ and ‘Brownies Lead’ International Camp 2019.

Last August, the association was honoured to have Her Majesty Permaisuri Agong Tunku Hajah Azizah Aminah Maimunah Iskandariah binti Al-Marhum Al-Mutawakkil Alallah Sultan Iskandar Al-Haj visit the headquarters during the official visit of the new Malaysian King to the country.

The current organisational structure of the Girl Guides Association of Brunei Darussalam is: Her Majesty Duli Raja Isteri Pengiran Anak Hajah Saleha binti Al-Marhum Pengiran Pemancha Pengiran Anak Haji Mohamed Alam as the Royal Patron; Her Royal Highness Princess Hajah Rashidah Sa’adatul Bolkiah as the President; Datin Paduka Hajah Zaharah binti Haji Idris, Datin Paduka Hajah Jusnani binti Haji Lawie and Datin Hajah Masni binti Haji Ali as Lifelong Deputy Commissioners; Hajah Siti Hafsah binti Haji Abdul Halim as Chief Commissioner; and Hajah Viviyanti binti Haji Ali as Deputy Chief Commissioner.

PPPBD began its presence in Kuala Belait after the association’s constitution was approved by the Office of the Imperial Headquarters of the Girl Guides Association in London on February 1, 1951. The same year also saw the registration of the Kuala Belait Local Association comprising the 1st Kuala Belait Company, 2nd Seria Company and 3rd Seria Company.

The 1st Company in the Brunei-Muara District was set up on March 22 the following year, while the Brunei-Muara Local Association was established on April 21, 1954.

In May 1954, PPPBD was allowed to use a room at a government building in Jalan Sultan as its first temporary headquarters with gatherings and activities every Monday and Saturday. Months later, the 1st Brownie Pack was established in the Brunei-Muara District on August 25 with the first batch of 14 Brownies registered.

The first PPPBD Headquarters was officiated on November 26, 1955 in Seria by Al-Marhumah Duli Raja Isteri Pengiran Anak Damit binti Al-Marhum Pengiran Bendahara Pengiran Anak Abdul Rahman and was named Coronation Hut.

From then up to October 1956, the numbers of PPPBD members were made up of 100 girl guides, 90 brownies and 18 leaders.

The late queen was also appointed as the first Royal Patron for PPPBD, which was officiated in 1960 and, in the same year, Yang Amat Mulia Pengiran Anak Besar binti Pengiran Anak Metassan took up the role as the first PPPBD President.

On December 20, 1963, Her Royal Highness Princess Hajah Noor Ehsani binti Al-Marhum Sultan Ahmad Tajuddin Akazul Khairi Waddien consented to accept the appointment as the first PPPBD Country Commissioner, which she held until 1970.

November 1966 saw the association receive a supervisor after the then Department of Education assigned an education officer to provide assistance to the association.

Following the coronation 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, Her Majesty Duli Raja Isteri Pengiran Anak Hajah Saleha binti Al-Marhum Pengiran Pemancha Pengiran Anak Haji Mohamed Alam consented to be the next Royal Patron of PPPBD while Her Royal Highness Princess Hajah Masna, Ambassador-at-Large at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, consented to the appointment as the PPPBD President on March 2, 1983.

In the same year as Her Royal Highness Princess Hajah Masna’s appointment, a mass recruitment of members began, where PPPBD reached 1,400 members nationwide and was accepted as an associate member of the WAGGGS on July 26, 1987 at the 26th World Convention WAGGGS in Njoro, Kenya.

PPPBD shares the same mission and vision as WAGGGS, which is to enable girls and young women to develop to their fullest potential to become responsible citizens of Brunei Darussalam and the world, and the vision where all girls are valued and take action to change the world.