‘Raise more awareness to bolster fight against poverty’

National 2 minutes, 33 seconds

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

AWARENESS regarding poverty in the sultanate needs to be widely disseminated among members of the public, especially youth in further strengthening the fight against poverty, said a member of a non-government organisation.

In an interview, Mahyuddin Othman, the head of Media and Public Relations of the Society for Community Outreach and Training (SCOT) said that increasing public awareness on poverty and its related issues in Brunei is crucial in order for youth to spearhead initiatives to further alleviate poverty.

“Youth are the future of Brunei and the more they are aware of the issue (on poverty), the more they can contribute to ending the vicious cycle of poverty and ultimately, help in nation building,” he said.

As a continuation of SCOT’s three-day ‘Youth Against Poverty’ workshop conducted in August, the NGO recently granted a $500 project grant to a group of local youth who bested other workshop’ participants with their project’s idea of setting up an online platform for underprivileged families to conduct their business.

Dubbed “Cakah” (energetic), the winning project aimed to promote ethical consumerism as the project’s proposed website will connect consumers to local products and services in support of charitable causes.

Mahyuddin said that such project, when it develops, is hoped to rally and facilitate its users to donate to the underprivileged and help alleviate them from the shackles of poverty.

“In line with our mission of becoming the catalyst for sustainable poverty alleviation, we strive to equip families with proper skills and means to support themselves such as micro loans to help them jumpstart their small businesses,” he said.

This also includes providing the country’s impoverished groups with farming equipment, technical assistance and educational support for agricultural farming in order for the identified groups to sustain and support themselves in the long run.

“(Another project) is the GreenXchange project that we have successfully executed eight times since its inception in 2011 where we encourage underprivileged families to collect recyclables and exchange them for rice,” said the Universiti Brunei Darussalam student.

Today marks The International Day for the Eradication of Poverty with this year’s theme “Moving from humiliation and exclusion to participation: Ending poverty in all its forms”.

The United Nations’ Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon in his message for the international observance for people living in poverty said that currently an approximate of one billion people are living in extreme poverty whist over 800 million endure hunger and malnutrition.

“Poverty is both a cause and consequence of marginalisation and social exclusion,” he said, in which recognising and addressing the humiliation and exclusion endured by many people living in poverty are vital to end the ferocious cycle.

“On this International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, let us listen to and heed the voices of people living in poverty.

“Let us commit to respect and defend the human rights of all people and end the humiliation and social exclusion that people living in poverty face every day by promoting their involvement in global efforts to end extreme poverty once and for all.”

The Brunei Times