Homeless family gets aid from youth

National 2 minutes, 8 seconds


ASSISTANCE has poured in for a homeless family of six who have been temporarily staying at a school canteen in Bukit Sawat located in inner, rural Belait since May.

After media reports publicised the family's plight in June, at least five separate parties have come forward to OKPB Bukit Sawat Primary School to donate food and household supplies, according to the family's mother Nur Liyana Abdullah Nanting yesterday.

Two youths from Belait, Bebee Babussalam Chang Saifullah and Muhd Firdaus Muhd Jeffery, were amongst those who made contributions to the family.

“After first reading about the plight of the family back in June in the newspaper, I reached out to my relatives about possibly donating items to the family to help ease their burdens,” said Bebee.

The pair of friends, who are both 19-years-old, handed over mattresses, pillows, stationery, clothing, home electrical appliances and food supplies to the family yesterday.

“It is our responsibility to our fellow Bruneians to do and give what we can to those in need, and even more so since this is the month of Ramadhan,” said Muhd Firdaus.

Nur Liyana informed that she and her husband have been struggling to find employment, after leaving their jobs at the sawmill because of health problems. They currently rely on reselling unused scrap metal found at construction sites in the area for income.

“Our hope is to be able to rebuild our home on my husband's plot of land in Sg Mau which burned down many years ago,” said the 43-year-old mother.

“There has been talks through our village head, who has been contacting the authorities about possible assistance to rebuild the house, and Alhamdulillah, the situation looks promising.”

Headmistress of OKPB Bukit Sawat Primary School Raidah Hj Juni said she was first made aware of the family living in a loosely constructed zinc shack in Sg Mau when Nur Liyana's three sons who study at the school appeared to be lethargic and stressed.

“After my staff and I talked to the boys, two who are also sitting for their Primary School Assessment (PSR) this year, it became immediately apparent to me that we needed to help them find shelter,” she said.

As the school's canteen was not occupied, the headmistress suggested to the family to move in, an ideal arrangement which will allow the three boys to maintain a good attendance record at school. “It is very important for them to be able to attend school everyday, especially since the Compulsory Education Act is in place and their PSR exams are coming up.”

The Brunei Times