Youth volunteers organise second donation drive

Izah Azahari

In a bid to assist people in need as the Sultanate combats the COVID-19 pandemic, the Brunei Youth Volunteers with support from the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports (MCYS) is organising its second donation drive at the Indoor Stadium, Hassanal Bolkiah National Sports Complex in Berakas.

Head of Operation Community Department of the Brunei Youth Volunteers Mohammad Ashmeer S/O Imtiaz Ahmad said the second donation drive began on July 2. The first drive was held during the month of Ramadhan. “We’re not sure yet when the end period of this donation drive will be, but it may be as long as the COVID-19 situation persists,” he said.

He added that the Brunei Youth Volunteers are receiving donations from 11am to 5pm every Thursday, Saturday and Sunday, and from 9am to 11am and 2pm to 5pm on Fridays.

On the deployment of donations, the youth volunteers carry it out according to their time based on the items that they have received, which are mainly dry food rations such as rice, sugar and canned food. The volunteers recommend people to donate food that have a longer shelf-life for families in need affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and Muslim converts.

“We have a list of recipients which we’ve compiled from various agencies, and those we’ve identified from text messages and social media,” said Mohammad Ashmeer. “We want to help everyone as much as we can.”

Volunteers organise the donations. PHOTO: IZAH AZAHARI

With plenty of donation drives, Mohammad Ashmeer said recipients are usually people who repeatedly receive the donations and there are those who were left out. Prior to distributing the donations, the volunteers interview the families to ensure they really are in need so they can help those in dire situations.

The Brunei Youth Volunteers encouraged the public to donate more dry food items and cleaning materials such as brooms, tissues and cleaning liquid as these items are
in need.

As some families live in rural areas and transportation becomes an issue at times, Mohammad Ashmeer said the need for these dry food items and canned food are ideal for the families to stock up. “During the first phase, we helped 2,384 families. As of now, we already sent donations to over 100 families in this second phase,” said Mohammad Ashmeer.

“We don’t have an exact target number, but we will deliver as much as we can, but it will most probably reach up to more than 1,000 families. It depends on the kind of donations we receive, then we’ll deploy it to the families in need.”