Belait volunteer group aid Merangking families

National 2 minutes, 12 seconds

BELAIT

AN ORPHANED family of five’s home in Jalan Singap, Merangking was cleaned up and repainted by close to a hundred members of the newly formed Belait District Volunteers Group yesterday.

Members from the ASEAN Young Professional Volunteer Corp, Belait District Youth Council, Brunei Darussalam Scouts Association's Belait Branch, Scooters Owners Group and Maxiscooter KB Club banded together with the Belait District Office, Department of Youth and Sports (JBS) and the Sg Liang Fire Station to carry out the upgrades, which also included replacing the home's windows and mirrors.

The orphaned family, along with two other families from Merangking located in inner, rural Belait, also received donations of basic living supplies yesterday, as part of Belait's observation of International Volunteers Day this year.

Twenty-three-year-old Mohd Shah Hafiy Aiman, the eldest of the five siblings whose house was repaired, told The Brunei Times yesterday that his family was relieved to be picked after finding difficulty in keeping up the place since their parents passed away five years ago. To allow for painting and a thorough cleaning, the volunteer group cleared out all the furniture from the bungalow house before moving it back in later in the afternoon.

“The upgrades are a real relief. I work with DST in Bandar and stay in a staff house there, but because of transport problems, it's difficult to visit my siblings who stay here (Merangking),” said Mohd Shah Hafiy, who returns home at least once a month.

Their youngest sibling, a 15-year-old female studying at Perdana Wazir Secondary School, lives with her married sister in a government barrack housing unit along Jalan Singamenteri in Kuala Belait, leaving only two brothers, both unemployed, to stay in the house on a daily basis.

Head of JBS Belait Norainah Hj Abd Hadi said that yesterday's activities coinciding with the capital's “Day of Action” (DOA) should spur volunteer projects to snowball in the future, rather than being a one-off event.

“Really the message behind DOA is to spur the public into taking action, but not just on an annual basis to observe volunteers day. We should be more pro-active and seek out opportunities around us to help others,” she said.

To achieve the long-term development of volunteerism in the district, she added that the Belait District Volunteers Group is planning to remain active throughout the year, and is due for a sit down with the District Office soon to discuss potential projects.

“Being able to have a group that houses non-governmental organisations, government agencies and members of the public all together is a great first step. But we must be able to sustain and develop it,” she said.

The Brunei Times