Over $500k donated to orphans registered under JAPEM

National 2 minutes, 46 seconds

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

SPIRITS were lifted among orphans below 18 years old yesterday, as those registered with the Community Development Department (JAPEM) received donations from the National Orphans Fund and Bank Islam Brunei Darussalam (BIBD).

A sum of $369,000 and $186,950 were donated by the National Orphans Fund and BIBD respectively for 3,690 orphans throughout the country.

Yesterday's ceremony at the International Convention Centre (ICC) saw the handover of donations to 2,380 orphans from the Brunei-Muara District, while District Officers from Tutong, Belait and Temburong were present to receive the donations on their behalf.

Present to handover the donations to the recipients were Minister of Industry and Primary Resources Yang Berhormat Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Utama Dato Seri Setia Hj Yahya Begawan Mudim Dato Paduka Hj Bakar who is also BIBD's Chairman; Acting Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports Datin Paduka Hjh Adina Othman and YB Pehin Dato Hj Yahya's spouse.

The annual hand over of donations during Ramadhan are aimed to help orphans ease their burden in daily expenses, and to prepare for the Hari Raya festivities.

During the ceremony, BIBD also presented monetary rewards to excellent student orphans at the Primary School Assessment Examinations (PSR), GCE 'O' Levels and 'A' Levels (2011) under their "Rewards Scheme for Excellent Students".

Al-Wadiah Savings Accounts will be opened for the respective students where the money will be deposited into.

Six of the top-scorers for the PSR exams received $500 each, while four recipients under the 'O' Level category received $800 each, and a recipient at the 'A' Level category who obtained $1,000.

On hand to present the donations to the 11 outstanding students were YB Pehin Dato Hj Yahya.

JAPEM director Hjh Misnah Hj Bolhassan told The Brunei Times it was through Brunei's caring society that funds were obtained for the orphans.

"Every year we have this ceremony, and it is because of our caring society who is ready to help our orphans. Without them, we would not be able to have such a ceremony," she said.

She added the nation's caring attitude for their fellow countrymen clearly comes in the footsteps of His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam.

Dewi Kartini Hj Hassan, 13, who was one of the outstanding PSR recipients, said she was grateful for the funds received and will give some of it to her family for Raya preparations.

"I will be giving some of the money to my family, and be putting the rest of it in the bank and only use it during a rainy day, " she said.

Asked of her advise to other orphans to study as hard, the 13-year-old said, "I am sure all the others can do even better than I have because Allah (SWT) blesses all of them and I believe they are all gifted."

Abd Hadi Hj Damit, 15, who was a recipient under the National Orphan's Fund said he will be using the money to buy school supplies such as books.

"I would like to say thank you very much to the public for giving me some money," he said.

Also present at the ceremony were Legislative Council Members (LegCo), Permanent Secretaries and Deputy Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports, Managing Director of BIBD, senior government officials and senior BIBD staff.

The Brunei Times