Community spirit takes care of orphaned family

National 2 minutes, 13 seconds

BELAIT

THE community of Jalan Puragam in the National Housing Scheme of Panaga have come out to support and donate to an orphaned family of five, who have lost both parents in the past two years.

Eldest of the five siblings, 21-year-old Dk Ezzati Pg Sani told The Brunei Times yesterday that her neighbouring community had begun helping out by donating food and other living supplies to their house since their mother passed on January 10 this year.

“We are very grateful to the help from our neighbours and are touched by the response of those around us,” said the Dk Ezzati who is currently pursuing a Level 5 Diploma in Science and Technology at Politeknik Brunei's School of Science and Engineering Campus in Lumut.

The five siblings first lost their father to lung cancer in June 2014, before losing their mother to breast cancer. Their news of their plight however, has drastically spread across Belait over the course of last week after a social media post on the family went viral, which has left Dk Ezzati and her family worried and disappointed.

“Some of the content of the viral message implying that we were left at our house by ourselves, without help is not a 100 per cent true,” said Dk Ezzati, who clarified that her parents' siblings have been providing for the family financially, while staying over whenever free.

The 21-year-old was also worried that their address was made publicly known through the shared message without their consent, fearing that opportunistic parties may use the information to break into their house.

“The message says that we are just children living alone, and then lists the address.

“Although the intention behind the message is good, but it potentially risks our safety,” said Dk Ezzati.

She said that her siblings have since had to deal with unknown cars circling outside her house, and strangers knocking and asking questions.

Dk Ezzati added that an application for welfare assistance has been sent to the Community Development Department recently.

Canang Citra Event Management's Director Hj Zaini Hj Munir, who visited the orphans' house with Awg Zaleha Lahap, one of the appointed mukim consultative council focal points for the National Housing Scheme of Panaga, suggested a more measured approach towards helping the family.

“The orphans were in good health when we visited and the family condition portrayed in the viral message was not accurate.

“There is nothing wrong with helping but if people take the content of the message, and misinterpret or take it out of context, it will just create unnecessary panic and draw unwanted attention when the family needs their privacy respected in this difficult time,” said Hj Zaini.

The Brunei Times