BASMIDA to recruit more youth

National 2 minutes, 42 seconds

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

THE National Anti-Drugs Association of Brunei Darussalam (BASMIDA) is keen to recruit more youngsters to join the non-government organisation (NGO) in raising awareness and to become young advocates for its campaign.

In a recent interview with The Brunei Times, Hjh Linda Aini Abdullah, Vice-President of BASMIDA stated that they are currently mentoring more youngsters for the sustainability of the NGO.

“Ever since our establishment in 1987, our objective has been to carry out preventive drug education among the youth, school children and the general public. We organise drug awareness campaigns to schools, mukim and villages, including media engagement to promote our cause,” she said.

BASMIDA recently joined the anti-drug exhibition organised by the Narcotics Control Bureau (BKN) at the Mall, Gadong in conjunction with the school term holiday.

“Our members and volunteers include some former addicts who voluntarily join us, where we refer them as ‘Rakan BASMIDA’ (friends of BASMIDA). They would share their own experience and explain the downsides of drug abuse to members of the public which proves to be more effective in raising awareness,” she added.

She raised concern that youth today are influenced with the western lifestyle as depicted in movies, soap dramas, music videos and such, therefore positive enforcements are needed by their peers to explain that it is never okay to consume drugs and perceive it being ‘cool’.

“This is why we need more youth members and volunteers to reach out to their fellow peers on the danger of drug abuse and trafficking. BASMIDA promotes healthy lifestyles at the same time and offers empowerment as well as capacity building programmes for our young members to help address this issue effectively.”

Earlier this year, it was reported that BKN has apprehended 610 drug abusers and traffickers (517 men and 93 women) in 2014, although the number is a 10 per cent decline in the number of arrest made by the bureau in 2013, which is a total of 679 drug offenders.

Meanwhile, Hjh Shimah Hj Md Yussof, Deputy Secretary of BASMIDA added that with youth participation, the reach out approach will be more effective as it will be a youth-friendly setting and will result in deeper impact to the society, especially the younger generation.

“Most the executive members of BASMIDA are already considered veterans and we need our youth to train for the sustainability of our association. Our association is currently active on adult-youth mentorship to ensure that BASMIDA will continue to exist in the future. Who knows, the existing committee members might want to retire soon,” she said.

The deputy secretary said that their young members are given regular opportunities to attend international conferences and congress on addressing drug related issues to be better informed and learn best practices from other countries that can be applied in the sultanate.

BASMIDA received the youth association award during the National Youth Day 2007 for its activeness in local drug prevention and rehabilitation efforts. Its president Datin Hjh Masni Hj Mohd Ali also received an award for active leadership in women’s development and the youth movement in the same year.

Youth who are interested to join BASMIDA as members can register for free and can contact the association’s Secretary Hj Laini Hj Majid at 8817817 and Hjh Shimah at 8628190.

The Brunei Times