World Economic Forum (WEF) established the Global Shapers Community to create a network of youth in addressing local, regional and global changes. The group has spread to over 160 countries, including Brunei Darussalam.
The Global Shapers Bandar Seri Begawan (BSB) Hub established in 2015 is a community of passionate individuals committed to shaping a better future for the Sultanate’s youth. The team hails from diverse backgrounds and fields including the creative industry to education, finance and entrepreneurship.
With the spectrum of experiences, the Global Shapers BSB Hub hopes to tap into the collective knowledge and skills within the community to champion youth unemployment issues through capacity building and development at the grassroots level.
Global Shapers BSB Hub Vice Curator Nadia binti Aji spoke to the Bulletin about their aims to address issues as their predecessors had done in other cities.
“We aim to empower young people in Brunei Darussalam to shape a brighter future for themselves. We believe that progress happens by bringing together people from all walks of life who have the drive and influence to make positive change, both nationally and globally,” said Nadia.
She also shared past projects which included the Shaper Takeover aimed at creating awareness regarding the Global Shapers Community to a wider community of youth in Brunei through social media and networking with youth across the region.
“Besides that, we also hope to educate young people on local and global initiatives, driving dialogue, action and change, and inspire them to take action for themselves, to think globally, but act locally,” Nadia reiterated.
Another example of an event shared by Nadia was The Art of Moderating. The project allowed moderators to gain practical tips and tricks, confidence and the skills to recognise key topics during discussions.
In further engaging with the society, the BSB Hub also conducted a project dubbed ‘Unheard Voices’.
Its objective was to raise awareness of the different development disorders/differently-abled youth in Brunei, of the challenges they face in terms of education, employability and ways that can gain support for them as well as reduce the stigma on the special needs community.
The BSB Hub carries out the project by conducting online forums and posting videos of special needs adults with regular jobs and performing day-to-day activities.
“There is a stigma that people with special needs are not capable of performing day-to-day activities and behaving what is considered ‘normal’. This causes many to look down on them and take pity, including parents, family members and employers,” Nadia explained.
The project aims to overturn the stigma and educate others that they are capable people.
The BSB Hub also helped out the community during the pandemic with their ‘Nasi Pusu Initiative’.
The Hub managed to raise just below BND12,000, along with other contributions, to support frontliners and volunteers, who were hard at work in combatting the more challenging second wave of the pandemic in the country.
The monetary contributions were spent on storage racks and electrical appliances, hygiene items, food and other necessities to support the fight against the pandemic.
The Hub also started the Ehsan Prihatin donation drive to collect daily necessities to support migrant workers and their families.
“At the start of the second wave, more migrant workers reached out seeking assistance to support them with daily necessities after being impacted by the pandemic,” Nadia revealed.
The drive supported 547 recipients with 235 packages, including essentials such as food and hygiene items.
At the emergence of the second wave too, the Hub helped out by conducting their Homebound Workshops online.
The online workshops equipped participants with the skills to adapt to the new normal and overcome challenges surrounding mental health and fake news issues.
These workshops brought about skills in identifying fake news, finding reliable online resources instead, navigating through online productivity tools and guiding participants on ways to establish boundaries to achieve work-life balance.
In their project named ‘Skills for the Future’, the series was initiated in response to the Top 10 Skills in 2020 as listed in the WEF’s Future of Jobs Report.
The project aimed to equip youth in Brunei with the skills needed to face the job prospects of an unexpected future.
It focussed on providing resources, networking opportunities, and mentorship to students and young professionals entering the field of mental health. It also served as a window providing accessible community support.
Nadia said that these are just some of the BSB Hub’s initiatives as of today.
She shared that with the leadership of Atiyah Kaflee as their curator for the term 2022/2023, there are more projects in the pipeline in aiding the community to address current issues and overcome challenges in the name of social welfare.