PROPAZ shows positive results

National 3 minutes, 16 seconds

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

THE programme initiated by the Brunei Islamic Religious Council, Ministry of Religious Affairs to empower the country’s poor and less fortunate group has shown positive results since its inception in 2007.

Recently, 19 trainees graduated from the Asnaf Zakat Empowerment Programme’s (PROPAZ) sixth intake in basic courses in information technology and communication skills, culinary, banquet & pastries and confectionary, and Technical skills.

Trainees interviewed by The Brunei Times urged youths that come from less fortunate families to be part of the nine-month programme. Participants were trained for three months before undergoing a six-month work placement.

The programme was the push that Rokiah Hj Mohammad Faizan, 26, needed to boost her confidence in life.

The IT and communications course graduate from Kg Parit, Temburong said: “At that time, I was unemployed. They encourage me to take part in the programme and to learn.”

Like Rokiah, most of the participants had been previously unemployed and the programme offered them an opportunity to change that.

Rokiah now works at Setia Motors Sdn Bhd as a clerk/cashier.

“For school dropouts and school leavers who have yet to get employment, it is better to be part of the programme. It helped us gain knowledge and jobs, according to our experience and capability,” she said, adding that she has high hopes for her future.

“My hope is that I will continue to improve myself, to support myself and my family. My family is not well-off; I hope I can help them. I have siblings who are still in school; I want to help them to succeed, even if I myself did not have such success.”

Rokiah is the third child out of six siblings. Her sister will be entering the programme’s seventh intake.

Another trainee, Rosmadi Mohd Tahir, a basic technical skills graduate was also unemployed at the beginning of the programme.

The 37-year-old from Kg Perpindahan Lambak Kanan said the training and work attachment programme gave him the independence and working experience that he needed.

Rosmadi was attached at Setia Motors Sdh Bhd for six months and now, he is part of the agency’s permanent staff.

Meanwhile, Nurlina Azirah Md Syamsul, 23, from Kg Kuala Ungar, Tutong opined that the programme was challenging and was dominated by males.

The first few months into the programme was difficult, she said, but at the end of the programme she was able to secure employment at Sabli’s Food in Sarambangun, Tutong.

“I work under packaging and food production. Even though my course differs from what I am doing now, but Alhamdulillah (praise to Allah) from my time here, I was able to get a job,” said Nurlina Azirah who was a trainee in basic technical skills.

“To youths out there, I advise that they take part in the programme as it helps to change your life and that of your family. It may be difficult at first, but if it is to help your family, then it is okay,” she added.

Nurlina Azirah is the eldest out of 12 siblings.

Another participant from Tutong, Nadhirah Puasa, who graduated under the basic IT and communications course, found out about the programme through the council.

The 19-year-old also had a tough beginning as she was reluctant to participate but was proud to have successfully completed the programme.

“I was scared at first. After a month here, it was fun. Now that I have graduated, I am really happy,” said Nadhirah, the second child out of four siblings.

Her stint at the Youth Development Centre gave Nadhirah the self-confidence she needed to continue to progress in the future.

She is now a finance clerk at Indera Motors Sdn Bhd.

The programme was designed to improve the quality of life of the poor and less fortunate by providing them with the necessary guidance and skills to secure better jobs. The programme has produced 192 graduates from all its six intakes.

The Brunei Times