Youth advised: Think big, brave
BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN
THE Deputy Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports Datin Paduka Hjh Adina Othman has called on youth to “think big, think brave”.
In an interview to mark International Youth Day 2014, she challenged youth to take on more responsibilities.
“I have always said that Brunei Darussalam should not remain a consumer society. This is where I would like to see our young people play a bigger role. The world can be your market. We may not be able to take the world by storm but I am confident that our young people can certainly make a mark,” she said.
This year’s International Youth Day 2014, which falls today, is themed ‘Youth and Mental Health’ under the slogan ‘Mental Health Matters’.
According to the United Nations, youth with mental health conditions can often experience stigma and discrimination, which in turn can lead to exclusion and/or discourage people from seeking help for fear of being negatively labelled.
Below is a question and answer interview with the deputy minister.
BT: What does MCYS think of youth progress and development over the past year?
Datin Hjh Adina: We are extremely encouraged by the progress and development of youth in the past year. The past year has seen much development in our youth in terms of their involvement in the community, in their willingness to participate and contribute in non-traditional fields of employment.
Their direct involvement in online businesses has seen a boom in that sector of the economy, which has led to creation of jobs. Their involvement in creative industry, for instance, has enriched the quality of life of our people.
At the UBD Film Week, we saw many documentaries and skits produced and directed by our own youth. We have seen youths themselves initiating and organising community-based programmes aimed at helping the vulnerable groups of the society.
We continue to see youths in the driver’s seat, taking responsibility in forging a better future for our people. We have also seen many programmes and projects aimed at enhancing the personality development of our youth, strengthening them and in short, creating a more holistic youth. All these are extremely healthy signs for Brunei Darussalam.
BT: What areas would you like to see youth partake and excel this coming year?
Datin Hjh Adina: This past year we saw some of our youth excelling in the entertainment industry. We also saw some of our youths involved in international volunteerism and making a difference not just to the nation, but to the region.
This is extremely encouraging and is a testimony of the capabilities of our young people. I have always said that Brunei Darussalam should not remain a consumer society.
This is where I would like to see our young people playing a bigger role. Think big, think brave. The world can be your market. We may not be able to take the world by storm but I am confident that our young people can certainly make a mark.
BT: What are some of the challenges MCYS has and will address to aid youth in their undertakings for national development?
Datin Hjh Adina: The past year also saw the establishment of the National Youth Service Programme after its pilot projects the year before.
This programme has proven to be exceedingly effective in the personality development of the youth. We will certainly continue to improve this programme, which will be enhanced with the construction of a permanent site at Batu Apoi.
Youth unemployment is another area which we will continue to address with the concerted efforts of many other agencies. The big challenge here will be to identify the strengths of our youths and build up their capabilities based on their strengths.
BT: What is your message to youth on the occasion of International Youth Day?
Datin Hjh Adina: To our youths, I say keep up the good work. Our future lies with you.
The Brunei Times