Local generosity on display

Rokiah Mahmud

When it comes to charity, Bruneians are generally quick to lend a helping hand.

Recently, three non-governmental organisations (NGOs) MUFEED, Hand-4-Hand and BPY45 got together to brainstorm ideas for a charity. The result was a project dubbed ‘The Biggest Toy Giveaway in Brunei Darussalam’, with the aim of easing the financial burden of the underprivileged.

On Sunday, these NGOs distributed collected items – toys, books, clothing and accessories – at the Indoor Stadium, Berakas.

According to the project’s Head of volunteers Nurhudiya binti Haji Damit, the project was the second instalment of an initiative first introduced in 2019.

This time around, the organisers drew inspiration from Projek Baju dan Seluar held in December 2020. She said, “From the project, we have received more than 30,000 clothes. We noticed that there were people looking for childrens’ accessories, which prompted us to turn it into a project.”

Alhamdulillah, we did not expect to get such an overwhelming response from the public.”

The organisers opened two days – December 30 and 31, 2020 – for the public to leave their contributions to the collection site at the Indoor Stadium.

“We inspected each of the donated items. If the items cannot be used, we return them to donors. We also request donors to wash and clean their pre-loved clothes before handing them over,” she said.

Nurhudiya said that she was touched by the generosity of the public in supporting the project.

In ensuring smooth running, 90 volunteers were called on to collect, sort out and arrange the items.

These volunteers came from different backgrounds, including higher learning institutions and high schools.

“We also printed some 3,000 coupons for the underpriviledged. Each individual was given one coupon. For example, if there are five members in a family, five coupons would be dispersed.

“Each coupon pieces entitles an individual eight pieces of clothing, one pair of shoes, one bag, five toys and five books.

“We divided them into batches and each batch was granted 10 to 15 minutes to select what they needed.

“After each batch, we sprayed, sanitised the items according to the guidelines and standard operating procedures (SOPs) outlined by the Ministry of Health.

“That is why we chose the Indoor Stadium for the distribution; we wanted to avoid overcrowding to ensure the health measures were obeyed,” she said.

She added that up until Sunday, there were still texts from people looking to make a contribution, which she had declined as the items had already been sorted out.

Meanwhile, one parent who received the donation commended the NGOs for their efforts to aid the underprivileged in the country.

“Not all of us could afford to buy items for our children, especially baby strollers, walkers and cots.

“Therefore, a project like ‘The Biggest Toy Giveaway in Brunei Darussalam’ offers a platform for struggling parents to obtain pre-loved items in good conditions,” she said.