Sunday, June 16, 2024
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The power of family

Rokiah Mahmud

Brunei welcomes this year’s International Family Day themes ‘Families and Urbanisation’, which intends to raise awareness on the importance of sustainable and family-friendly urbanisation policies.

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 shared this in a message to mark the occasion, which is celebrated every May 15.

In his message, the minister said that the Sultanate is not left behind in celebrating Family Day through the National Family Day celebration that is marked on the first Sunday of May, which has been carried out since 2012 at the national level.

For this year, he shared that a Doa Kesyukuran and the recitation of Surah Yaasiin ceremony was carried out in conjunction with the National Family Day 2022 celebration on May 1, 2022.

The minister noted that the theme of International Family Day is in line with the country’s commitment towards the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, in which Brunei and other countries under the United Nations (UN) share a vision to eradicate poverty, inequality and injustice as well as address climate change by the year 2030.

He added that it is also in line with Brunei Vision 2035, towards achieving a high quality of life for every citizen in the country.

“We are proud that when Brunei became the Chairman of ASEAN 2021, the ASEAN heads of states also ratified the Bandar Seri Begawan Declaration on the importance of the family for community development and nation-building,” said the minister.

“Among others, the ASEAN countries agreed to develop an integrated ASEAN strategy for a holistic family-centred approach, which aims at strengthening family well-being and development, family resilience and family unity, to adapt to current challenges.”

The minister further stated that this is a reflection of the institution of the family as a whole, regardless of status and background, in which it is seen as a key pillar to ensure that every layer of society always lives in a state of happiness, independence, empowerment, of helping each other and, most importantly, mutual respect.

“Peace, justice, understanding tolerance, love and prosperity in a family are the essence of a family ‘Sakinah Mawaddah Warahmah’. This is our shared desire and responsibility,” he said.

He added that is therefore very fitting that at the national level, the focus of the National Family Day Celebration this year is ‘Together Caring for the Family’, which highlights the role of the family in community and national development.

With a focus on three key aspects, namely improving work-life harmony, strengthening child protection and support for family members, several activities and initiatives have been planned throughout the year, in collaboration with strategic partners as a part of a whole-of-nation approach.

Among activities that have been outlined include the International Fiqh Al-Usrah Seminar hosted by the Religious Teachers University College of Seri Begawan (KUPU SB) scheduled to take place on June 8 and 9 highlighting ‘Pendidikan Ugama Teras Keluarga Bahagia Lagi Sempurna’. A forum on ‘Keluargaku Harapanku’ will also to be held in collaboration with Al-Huffaz Management.

The minister added that guidelines for child care centres in government buildings will be introduced, and aims to provide convenience for staff working in the building to provide childcare without the need to leave the office.

At the same time, a foster family care programme will also be introduced for temporary care of children and young persons that are in need of protection, to ensure their safety and welfare are maintained until it is safe for them to return to their biological parents.

The minister shared that the ministry will launch the Register of Children and Young Persons in Need of Protection (RCYPNP) under the National Framework for the Protection of Children of Brunei Darussalam (NFCP) today.

In addition, a ‘One Family One Tree’ campaign, in collaboration with Green Brunei, is planned for August, where each family will plant one tree as a heritage of their respective families, towards raising awareness of the responsibility of caring for the environment for the future of the family, community and country.

Also mentioned was Family Festival and Family Theatre in September, which is in collaboration with non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and associations towards enhancing family bonds.

The minister proceeded to share that, at the same time, it is undeniable that the Sultanate is not exempted in facing the COVID-19 pandemic situation, which has and continues to have an impact on family institutions in this country and globally.

“Nevertheless, we are grateful that the government’s initiatives as well as strategic partners such as the national vaccination programme, economic stimulus packages, entrepreneurship support, online teaching and learning, and food ration distribution have eased the burden on families in the country,” he said.

He highlighted that the government has and will continue to strive to formulate strategies, policies and programmes according to the passage of time and according to the needs of the current situation.

“This shows how important it is for us to continue to maintain and improve a more comfortable life for families with an integrated approach of each agency and through the social responsibility of the whole community. In this effort, each family member should play a role to help each other in meeting their physical and emotional needs.

“Indeed, the institution of a happy family is important to the development of the country because a happy family guarantees the continuity of future generations of the country. With that, our common hope is that all families will be happy, healthy, trustworthy and responsible to each other, as well as society in general,” he added.

The International Family Day 2022 is marked every May 15 and celebrated globally. The celebration is in line with the recognition of the family unit as the most important institution in society by the UN and aims to strengthen family ties and raise awareness of family-related issues, especially in the context of current global trends and changes that have brought and continue to bring significant changes to the institutional structure of the family.

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