MKM seeks more young volunteers

National 2 minutes, 50 seconds

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

THE Council on Social Welfare (MKM) is seeking more youth volunteers to help it in its charity work.

The head of MKM’s fidyah programme, Hj Yusof Halim, said the non-governmental organisation has a core group of about 30 volunteers, but their average age is 45.

He said MKM needs volunteers for ad hoc activities such as cleaning campaigns and house repair works.

“For cleaning campaigns on an ad hoc basis, we will tap into schools and youth organisations for assistance. They’ve been very helpful, and we’ve received quite a good response.

“We don’t have money and we’re not assisted by the government. We really need people to help us and to trust us because I believe that MKM is doing good work,” he said.

Hj Yusof said more volunteers are needed to help the NGO assist underprivileged families.

Twenty-two families are currently under MKM’s monthly sustenance programme.

He said MKM had come across incidents where people reached out to them for assistance because their children couldn’t sit for their exams as they were unable to pay the school fees.

“To be very honest, we have people knocking on our door in the middle of the night because they don’t have anything to feed their children. We would go out and assist these families,” he said.

A group of expatriates in the country are contributing funds to the monthly sustenance programme after seeing the families’ situation.

The programme is just one of MKM’s many projects to assist and empower underprivileged groups.

The NGO assists in addressing social issues of five core groups - children, people with disabilities, the elderly, poor/needy and vulnerable families.

“We will first check the families to make sure they are in fact needy families and find out what they need. This is because different families have different needs, and we will buy the necessities for them,” he said.

He added that the assistance ranges from $100 to $140 per family depending on their situation.

“For a family of four without a baby, we will assist by buying about $100 worth of necessities, but for families with babies or children, the assistance would be around $140. Babies need milk and other items, so it’s more costly. The same goes with families who have members that are ill,” he said.

Some families pick up the items themselves at the residence of one of the MKM members, but those with transportation issues will get the items delivered to their homes.

Hj Yusof said MKM’s programmes not only aim to help those in need but also to empower them and show them how to stand on their own two feet.

“We’ve been successful in doing this for several people. One of the women that we help has 15 children, and now she’s helping others,” he said.

Hj Yusof is optimistic that the movement they started five years ago will continue to improve and that they will be able to not only assist but also empower vulnerable groups across the country.

He said one donor had rented a ground floor shop unit for MKM to act as its office for a year. They will start using the space this month.

The NGO has been using the homes of its members as its office as well as for storage space in keeping essential items for their programmes.

The Brunei Times