Bruneian youth encouraged to engage more with the community

National 1 minute, 49 seconds


A YOUTH who received a scholarship to attend a world forum said Bruneians should not disregard their role as global citizens in helping others.

Rachel Lai, who was selected to attend the One Young World summit at Ireland’s Dublin, said it is easy for youth in Brunei to feel “detached” from the world.

“We are only reminded of things like climate change and conflict on TV. And for that, we are very fortunate. Yet, this does not altogether disregard our role as global citizens,” the 23-year-old said in an interview.

“I would encourage Bruneian youth to engage more with our community back home. SCOT, Green Brunei, BDAC are examples of youth-led NGOs,” said the Universiti Brunei Darussalam (UBD) student.

She said it was thought-provoking to listen to experiences from prominent figures at the annual summit.

Lai added that she particularly enjoyed listening to the story of a 21-year-old North Korean defector named Park Yeon Mi, who escaped through China.

The student also heard inspiring stories from other delegates pleading support from the United Nations to tackle climate change as their countries suffer from its repercussions.

“The opportunity to meet and speak with them was very thought-provoking. Without a doubt, it makes you grateful for what we have been provided in Brunei. At the same time, it questions our role as Bruneians in helping our neighbours. Raising awareness is the first step.”

This year’s youth congress also gathered Former UN chief Kofi Annan and Irish singer/political activist Sir Bob Geldof.

Lai is currently based in Nottingham as she is currently on a twinning programme between UBD and University of Nottingham for her Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery.

The One Young World is an annual summit that provides young delegates around the world the opportunity to debate and formulate solutions on pressing global issues.

Lai was one of the recipients of the All Bar None Scholarship, offered by the organiser as an initiative to ensure people from less represented countries to also have the opportunity to participate in the summit. She encouraged other Bruneian youth to apply for the scholarship at next year’s summit in Bangkok.

The Brunei Times