UBD students help Belait’s elderly

National 1 minute, 47 seconds


A GROUP of first-year Universiti Brunei Darussalam students chose an old folks’ home in Seria as part of a community service project required by their Melayu Islam Beraja (MIB) module.

The group of 30 visited the home at the Community Service Centre last month, where they donated supplies and helped clean the surroundings.

“For the younger students, it was an eye-opening experience to learn about the home’s existence, its history and its current operations,” Mariani Yakop, who led the group, said yesterday.

Mariani said that although many of the old folks living at the centre weren’t Malay or Muslim, the integration of other ethnicities as well as the welfare of the elderly are important components in MIB.

“The welfare of all members of society, including the underprivileged and the disabled, have always been a priority and paid close attention to by His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu'izzaddin Waddaulah, the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam, and his government,” she said.

The group, comprised of undergraduate students from a broad range of academic disciplines, will soon present its findings, with a video and written report also to be included.

Mariani, an experienced working professional, said the idea to do their community service project in Seria stemmed from some members of the group who were raised in Belait.

“There are three or four in the group who are from Belait. A lot of the other groups had projects based in Brunei-Muara, so we looked beyond the capital to see who we could help,” she said.

Aside from donating supplies and cleaning the premises, the group helped a disabled senior citizen take a bath and took time out to sit down to listen to the elders’ stories to learn how they ended up at the home.

“There were important lessons that we learned when it comes to taking care of your elders. None of us would want to end up alone, having to fend for ourselves without any support. To avoid this, we all have to play our part,” she said.

The centre regularly receives visitors throughout the year from associations, schools and private well-wishers.

The Brunei Times