Room for meaningful impact

Azlan Othman

Members of the Down Syndrome association, Ability to Learn Through Learning and Experience (ABLE), now have a ‘Happy Meal Room’ at their premises in Anggerek Desa, Berakas where residents can relax after their classes, courtesy of McDonald’s Brunei.

The new Happy Meal Room was unveiled on December 20 during a public awareness project on the Day of Action 2020, called ‘Bright Up! For Down Syndrome’.

Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports Major General (Rtd) Dato Paduka Seri Haji Aminuddin Ihsan bin Pehin Orang Kaya Saiful Mulok Dato Seri Paduka Haji Abidin was the guest of honour.

With facilities including a television set, air purifier, air conditioner and sofa; the Happy Meal Room is a small contribution with meaningful benefits, said McDonald’s Brunei Marketing Associate Mohd Khairul Ikhwan bin Haji Ibrahim.

Supporting a non-profit organisation is a powerful way to give back to the community and this project is part of McDonald’s Brunei’s corporate social responsibility (CSR) core value of being a good neighbour to its community and to help ease the burden and spread love to those in need.

Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports Major General (Rtd) Dato Paduka Seri Haji Aminuddin Ihsan bin Pehin Orang Kaya Saiful Mulok Dato Seri Paduka Haji Abidin at the ‘Bright Up! For Down Syndrome’. PHOTOS: MMPB
Major General (Rtd) Dato Paduka Seri Haji Aminuddin Ihsan bin with ABLE members in the Happy Meal Room

“It gives a great sense of joy not only to McDonald’s Brunei to have supported the Down syndrome association but also the individuals running the organisation and its residents,” he said.

“But what is more important is the improvement of society gives a very meaningful impact, be it short- or long-term. This association helps to bring care to individuals with Down syndrome and easing their burden.”

In addition, McDonald’s Brunei has also collaborated with government and non-government agencies as well as other communities.

“Projects that we have realised are birthday celebrations at Welfare Home Complex of Community Development Department (JAPEM), meals for frontliners combatting COVID-19; giving back to the community by cleaning mosques and cemeteries; donation to families in need and back to school programmes internally and externally,” he said.

ABLE welcomed not only McDonald’s Brunei but also other associations like MMPB with open arms.

Mohd Ikhwan shared that McDonald’s has five values that guide everything they do: Serve, inclusion, integrity, community and family.

“We know there is a big difference between being in a community and being part of one; that is why we work every day to make a positive impact in our neighbourhood that we call home.

“Therefore, it is important to be part of the community, because being part of the community means supporting people every day, and especially when they need it the most.

“We are committed to being good neighbours where we operate, whether through serving as a hub for people to come together over a meal or dedicating time and resources in times of need.

“McDonald’s is making sure it is there for the communities. We hope to continue to serve our communities better and always ready when they need us.”

Meanwhile, MMPB Head of Charity Izzah Nazurah binti Haji Abdul Rahman spoke on their collaboration with McDonald’s Brunei in the ‘Bright Up! For Down Syndrome’.

She noted that activities lined up included a photoshoot and a grooming session to ensure that individuals with Down syndrome were treated equally.

“In the collaboration with Arts and Humanity students from Kolej International Graduate Studies (IGS), we also beautified the ABLE building,” she said.

Previously, MMPB worked with the Children’s Cancer Foundation (YASKA) as well as travelled to Sabah to aid the underprivileged with the Bajau Laut community.