In the spirit of goodwill in the blessed month of Ramadhan and also to show care towards families of the less fortunate, Chevening Alumni Brunei (CAB) yesterday carried out a donation event, targeting the less fortunate in the Brunei-Muara and Tutong Districts, with emphasis on single parents and those with large dependents. A total of 20 recipients have been identified.
Led by the President of the association, Muhammad Noh Haji Madali, the delegation of alumni members visited the houses of recipients across the two districts to hand over the donations which include cash and basic food necessities. Some of the donations were distributed days before.
The donations, in kind and cash collected by alumni members and their families and friends, were part of the alumni’s humanitarian aid to help ease the burden of the less fortunate in the spirit of giving during Ramadhan. The donations were also hoped to bring some joy in preparing for Aidilfitri.
Below is a special message from CAB President, Muhammad Noh Madali:
Alhamdulillah, we’ve had our formal Ramadan donation event today. We managed to distribute both food and cash donations to the needy, around 20 of them not only today but throughout the week. It has been an eye opener to see the state of these people especially the young children.
I wish to convey my heartfelt thanks to all those who have contributed towards the success of this noble activity be it in terms of donations or volunteer support. It feels really good that we both as individuals and as an alumni have done something positive towards the less fortunate within our society. I hope we will continue doing this in the future.
I would also like to take this opportunity to share with you the plight of one of the JAPEM-registered receipients we’ve met today. She is Dayang Asnah binti Awang Latip who is currently renting a place in No 335 Kg Burong Lepas in Jalan Bengkurong Masin. Her husband has been unemployed for the past few months because of his health and for quite some time they’ve missed paying the monthly rentals of their one-bedroom home. I honestly wouldnt say it is a house as it looked like a makeshift storeroom. They have five children though only four are living with them (the other one is a ~7 year old child being cared for by their immediate family). The rest of the children are aged 12, 11, 8 and 3. Dayang Asnah also has a 14 year old daugther from a previous marriage but is staying elsewhere.
Their living conditions are heartbreaking; Dyg Asnah has mentioned that for sleeping, her children actually use a thrown-away mattress they picked from a rubbish site. At times, when money is very tight, their meals only contain rice with salt or tamarind juice. Being poor, she felt that some people and family have just turned a blind eye on them and some even advised her to give up her children for adoption, something that she refuses to do. She is also desperate to find another place to stay as her current dwelling is not safe. Snakes and other creatures have managed to enter their residence in the past and quite recently, someone has broken in and stole her husband’s pairs of Baju Melayu, amongst other things. She has already sought assistance from Baitul Mal but was told that she need to find a house (with monthly rental of no more than $500 a month) on her own and provide the details to them before they can provide the accommodation assistance. She is trying to find one but has not been very successful. She hopes that with a better home and better opportunities, she will be able to bring back her other children under her care especially her 14 year old daughter.
If you know anyone who can provide such rental and within school vicinity, I hope you can help and let her know. Please contact her through her husband’s mobile no at 8795648. If you would like to further help through donations or work opportunities, you can visit her directly at the address mentioned above. FYI, we were told that her family has not been included in the recent Kurnia for the needy. I am attaching you some of the pictures taken at her place today. It is with my sincerest hope that we can bring more smiles to her children especially with the coming Hari Raya.