NGO plans to expand Fidyah Scheme

National 2 minutes, 12 seconds

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

THE Brunei Council on Social Welfare (MKM) is planning to expand its Fidyah Scheme to schools in other districts depending on the sufficiency of financial contributions received from donors, said its executive member yesterday.

Zubaidah Dato Hj Abu Zar who is also MKM’s head of committee for children, said the NGO will extend the Fidyah Scheme to welfare recipients in Tutong, Temburong and Belait once it receives contributions from donors.

Fidyah, according to Islam, is a type of payment distributed to the less fortunate to compensate for each day of fasting missed by a Muslim during the month of Ramadhan.

“As long as people keep giving us fidyah, the scheme will be continued. So far we have done it in the past three years. We hope more people can financially contribute so we can do more things for the children,” Zubaidah said on the sidelines of a financial literacy programme by Junior Achievement (JA) Brunei for students under the Fidyah Scheme at MKM’s headquarters in Serusop.

She said that the scheme provides the students with meals at their school canteen everyday.

She added that five schools are currently under the scheme, namely Sengkurong Primary School; Tanah Jambu Primary School; Hj Muhammad Salleh Primary School in Sg Hanching; Abdul Bubin Primary School and Pintu Malim Primary School.

An agreement would be made between MKM and the school canteens to provide the children with meals every school day, she said.

“So we hope we can provide help to other districts as well with the people’s contribution we will be able to extend our services even more,” she said.

She said since the scheme was introduced in 2013, MKM had been receiving positive feedback from schools.

“Before the scheme, these kids would come to school in the morning and they wouldn’t eat until lunch time. This hindered them from coming to school as 'it makes them tired'.

“But under the scheme, they would look forward to go to school as they would have something to eat, (in between breakfast and lunchtime),” she said, adding that teachers noticed the attendance of students’ grades had improved after the Fidyah Scheme.

She said that other districts are not exempt with underprivileged students highlighting that in Temburong and Tutong, “there are a lot of poor students”.

Students’ families must be classified as destitute or poor to qualify for the welfare programme. Pupils enrolled in the programme are given identification cards which identify them as recipients of food and drinks from their canteen during school days.

Each student is eligible for a total of $1 worth of food and drinks per day.

The Brunei Times