Local receives award from Queen Elizabeth II

Aziz Idris

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II has recognised Noorhafizah binti Haji Rashid (Fisha), representing Brunei Darussalam, as the 173rd Commonwealth Point of Light in honour of her voluntary service encouraging community development through entrepreneurship.

Fisha founded the Big BWN Project in 2015 which works to empower young people, women and entrepreneurs through community development in Brunei. She runs many initiatives, including the Brunei Young Entrepreneur Project, supporting local entrepreneurs to access business opportunities and contribute to sustainable development.

Fisha said, “I am honoured and humbled to be receiving the Commonwealth Points of Light award from Queen Elizabeth II, and to represent Brunei at the Commonwealth. Everything that we have achieved and accomplished over the last six years with Big BWN Project will not have been possible without the love and support that we received from the community. This recognition is our recognition, for those that have worked together with me and supported all our community work and efforts and for those who continue to inspire us to do more and better for our country and our people.”

Meanwhile, British High Commissioner to Brunei Darussalam John Virgoe said, “We’re delighted that Her Majesty the Queen’s has awarded a Commonwealth Point of Light award to Fisha in recognition of her incredible work in Brunei, particularly during the pandemic.

“The United Kingdom (UK) is a champion of gender equality around the world and part of that is promoting opportunities for women to be recognised for the positive impact they have made in their community. It’s a happy coincidence that this award coincides with International Women’s Day and Commonwealth Day.”

Noorhafizah binti Haji Rashid. PHOTO: AZIZ IDRIS

As part of the legacy of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in London 2018, the Queen – as Head of the Commonwealth – is thanking inspirational volunteers across the 54 Commonwealth nations for the difference they are making in their communities and beyond, by recognising one volunteer from each Commonwealth country every week. By sharing these stories of service, the Commonwealth Points of Light awards celebrate inspirational acts of volunteering across the Commonwealth and help inspire others to make their own contribution to tackling some of the greatest social challenges of our time.

Commonwealth Day is an annual celebration observed across the 54 member countries. Traditionally, a service is held at Westminster Abbey to mark Commonwealth Day.

However, this year celebrations will take place virtually today under the theme ‘Delivering a Common Future: Connecting, Innovating, Transforming’.

It is an opportunity for individuals, communities and organisations to promote the Commonwealth’s shared values of peace, democracy and equality, and celebrate the association’s rich diversity.

The Commonwealth is a diverse community that work together to promote prosperity, democracy and peace.

The heads of government meeting brought together leaders from all the member countries to re-affirm common values, address shared global challenges and agree how to work to create a better future for all citizens, especially young people.

Voluntary service is a vital part of this agenda, which is why Her Majesty the Queen has chosen to recognise outstanding volunteers across the Commonwealth in this special way.