Wednesday, June 12, 2024
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Brunei Town

Un-caped heroes to the forefront

Rizal Faisal

The Society for Community Outreach and Training (SCOT) is a registered non-governmental organisation (NGO) in Brunei Darussalam that looks to bridge efforts in formulating stronger sustainable strategies to help the community, in terms of addressing socioeconomic challenges and other social issues.

One example is the Ramadhan Charity Drive, an initiative SCOT has annually carried out since its establishment in 2011. This charitable deed is designed to ease the burden of socioeconomically challenged families in the Sultanate, through the provision of basic necessities.

Speaking to the Bulletin, SCOT president Ajrun Julkifli pointed out that the Ramadhan Charity Drive 2022 recorded the highest volume of donations.

“A total of 205 care packages sponsored by Unified National Networks (UNN), Standard Chartered Bank (SCB) and the public were delivered to all four districts, consisting of kitchen necessities, hygiene products and Bruneian-made snacks,” Ajrun said.

Another SCOT project is the Social Kitchen Community, an initiative held annually since 2019, aimed at gifting home-cooked meals to less fortunate communities, while at the same time, providing employment to single mothers who are hired to cook for the programme.

SCOT has long held the belief that sharing in the ‘joy of giving’ can be humbling experience; one that also brings about the spirit of togetherness among the populace.

SCOT team during the packing of sponsored care packages. PHOTOS: SCOT
SCOT president Ajrun Julkifli and his team delivering care packages to families in need

Over the course of Ramadhan this year, the Social Kitchen Community served up 5,467 meals as part of the ‘#4000MealsChallenge.’ Partners were required to raise as many meals as possible to achieve the initial 4,000-meal goal.

The meals were cooked and delivered to less fortunate families and foreign workers throughout Brunei-Muara and Tutong districts, with the help of two empowered single mothers and volunteers from participating corporates such as Baiduri Bank, Brunei Darussalam Central Bank, Progresif, Network Integrity Assurance Technologies (NiAT), and SCOT members.

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 also made an appearance at the kitchen.

Sharing his experience at helming the NGO since taking office on January 28, 2022, Ajrun said, “One of the main challenges is having new presidential office members, new executive committees (ExCos) and a new image after rebranding. I need to ensure our vision, mission and objectives are aligned with each other.” Another challenge is working on the development of members, in terms of skills set and confidence.

This is primarily so with the new members, some of whom lack experience and do not yet have the skills and confidence to perform specific tasks, he said.

Ajrun has, however, ironed out these issued by placing greater emphasis on collaboration and transparency.

“I have been strengthening my team by promoting a sense of respect and belonging and making them feel like family, one that is bound by a shared vision and mission. In doing so, we improve our synergy and ensure harmony within the organisation.”

Ajrun also highlighted the importance of properly managing the team.

“Next is the delegation of tasks to team members. Some of the jobs are beyond their skill sets. However, having them work outside their comfort zone will undoubtedly develop their skills and confidence,” he added.

To achieve SCOT’s mission and vision, “we need to prioritise satisfying all related stakeholders, including our members and partners,” Ajrun said, adding that he hopes to inspire and rope in more youth to join voluntary work.