Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II has today, 27th February 2018, recognised Iqbal Damit, of Brunei as the 19th Commonwealth Point of Light in honour of his work mobilising Bruneian contributions for Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh.
In the lead-up to the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in London on 19-20 April, Her Majesty The Queen – as Head of the Commonwealth – is thanking inspirational volunteers across the 52 Commonwealth nations for the difference they are making in their communities and beyond.
By sharing these stories of service, the Heads of Government meeting will celebrate inspirational acts of volunteering across the Commonwealth and help inspire others to make their own contribution to tackling some of the greatest social challenges of our time.
Iqbal Damit is the founder of ‘Hand4handbn,’ an organisation providing Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh with food and donations. After raising over $15,000 for the organisation, Iqbal bought over 1,000 food packs and travelled to Balukhali refugee camp to distribute this food and other essential items. He distributed these packs, as well as thousands of items donated by other charities, to Rohingya refugees across the region, winning a National Youth Award in 2016 for his volunteer work.
Each Commonwealth Point of Light will receive a personalised certificate signed by Her Majesty The Queen as Head of the Commonwealth. The award for Iqbal Damit will be presented on 27th February by Richard Lindsay, British High Commissioner in Brunei.
Iqbal Damit said: “I am honoured and extremely humbled to be accepting this award. To be honest, I never saw this coming. What started off as something that I like to do, that is to travel and to help people, to then be given an award and recognition by Her Majesty The Queen and the selection team for something that I really enjoy doing gives me great honour. I would like to dedicate this award to the people that I have given assistance to. This is because they are the ones who have helped me instead. They have helped me to appreciate what I have and also be thankful with what I have. Until today, the assistance and aid that I have delivered in all my projects and charity work have taught me and reminded me daily to appreciate life better and to see beyond my own shoes and learn to walk in theirs.”
Richard Lindsay, UK High Commissioner in Brunei said: “On behalf of the Head of the Commonwealth, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, I am delighted to present Iqbal Damit with a Commonwealth Point of Light Award, in recognition of his service in providing humanitarian relief for Rohingya refugees. Through his work, Iqbal has demonstrated great compassion for fellow Muslims, and is a great role model for other young people across the Commonwealth.
There will be 52 Commonwealth Points of Light awarded – one from each nation in the Commonwealth. Iqbal is already an inspiration to others in Brunei, and will now inspire others across the whole of the Commonwealth.”
The Commonwealth is a diverse community of 52 nations that work together to promote prosperity, democracy and peace. The Heads of Government meeting will bring together leaders from all the 52 Member countries to reaffirm common values, address shared global challenges and agree how to work to create a better future for all citizens, especially young people. Voluntary service is a vital part of this agenda, which is why Her Majesty The Queen has chosen to recognise outstanding volunteers across the Commonwealth in this special way.