Youth lead 30 per cent of NGOs: Deputy Minister

National 2 minutes, 31 seconds


YOUTH lead 30 per cent of the non-governmental organisations in Brunei, said the Deputy Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports.

Datin Paduka Hjh Adina Othman said there were 2,100 registered volunteers at the Community Development Department and Department of Youth and Sports.

The deputy minister was speaking at the Beach Bunch’s inaugural International Beach Conference yesterday.

One of the conference speakers, Sonya Besteiro said the number of volunteers in Brunei decreased from 149 in 2011 to 104 last year.

Based on her study, the associate director of International Coastal Cleanup at Ocean Conservancy said the number of clean-up items has been promising, as it rose from 1,244 in 2010 to 5,463 a year later, to 6,171 last year.

Datin Paduka Hjh Adina said volunteerism should not just be provided by the government.

“Governments can implement programmes but they would not succeed without the involvement, assistance, participation of the community.

“NGOs can play an important role in providing platforms to the community,” she added.

Datin Paduka Hjh Adina also acknowledged the importance of community engagement. She lauded the achievements of youth-led organisations such as Beach Bunch and Green Brunei which have created various opportunities to promote sustainable development in Brunei.

“These are contributions of our young people. Work by and for young people which is important for us to achieve agreement on climate change,” she added.

Meanwhile, Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Industry and Primary Resources Hjh Normah Suria Hayati PJDSMDSU (Dr) Hj Mohad Jamil Al-Sufri commended the efforts made by the Beach Bunch, and further urged the NGO to target the youth.

“An aggressive campaign is necessary to educate the society, and more effective to target the younger citizens through schools,” she said.

“This, InsyaAllah will instal good ethics to the next generation.”

She suggested the involvement of the social media and utilising the locals especially the villages to assist the authority in policing.

“The ministry will give continuous support and any organisations to keep the environment clean and sustainable.”

Officially established in 2010, the Beach Bunch is a non-profit environmental organisation with the mission to sustain and protect the beaches of Brunei from pollution and any potential harm.

The Beach Bunch International Conference featured international and local speakers including the United Kingdom, United States, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, facilitators, a speaker from JASTRE, to discuss beach management, waste management, community engagement and beach safety, followed by question and answer sessions.

“The objective of this international roundtable is to engage and create awareness for Beach Bunch members, local government agencies, education sector, environmental and related NGOs and especially the community,” said Rizan Latif, president of Beach Bunch. “Beach clean-up is just a part of the solution. We need help from government agencies and the community,” he added.

Derek Singleton talked on the importance of beaches to have management standards, notably adequate lifeguards, access to drinking water, first aid supplies and safety measure supervision.

“It can only take minutes between someone having fun and getting in danger,” said the resort services manager of Torbay Council in the United Kingdom.

The Brunei Times