Private sector assistance to NGOs not forthcoming: MKM chief

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THE Brunei Council on Social Welfare (MKM) has stressed the need for private companies to come forward in providing assistance to non-governmental organisations (NGOs) in the sultanate.

During the donation handing over event in Temburong recently, MKM’s president, Datin Paduka Hjh Intan Hj Mohd Kassim told The Brunei Times that there are very few private companies in Brunei that are willing to help local NGOs.

She said that corporate companies in the sultanate are not keen to give assistance or collaborate with NGOs, especially ones that focus on helping poor people. “So far no company has come forward to help MKM.”

She said that the corporate sector in the sultanate has not been forthcoming. “In other countries, normally private sector gives assistance to NGOs. But here, private sector companies seem less interested in donating. They prefer to donate at events that can highlight their organisation such as golf or football tournaments,” she said.

She acknowledged that the small size of private companies in Brunei could be the hindrance for NGOs to receive support from them.

According to the United Nations policy watchdog Global Policy Forum, NGOs usually rely on financial aid from various sources, including individual donors, foundations, corporations, and governments. Despite having problems in getting funds from private companies, Datin Paduka Hjh Intan said that there are many members of the public willing donate.

“Not all donations are in monetary terms. Individual donors sometimes donate food or clothes to MKM. Some donate cash on a monthly basis. For example, there is one donor who donates cash every month to help one poor family.

“Normally, we receive around $100 and we add money from our side to buy items for poor families. We distribute the donation every month,” she said, adding that monetary donations from people really help the poor families to meet their daily needs. She said that even though the recipients receive allowances from the Ministry of Religious Affairs (MoRA) or the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports (MCYS), most of them still cannot afford to support their families due to low income and large size of families.

“I hope more people be it individuals or private companies come forward to help the needy. By helping the poor families, we are indirectly helping and supporting the government in its effort to ensure that the sultanate’s community is taken care of,” said the president of MKM.

The Brunei Times