Young Bruneians leave for Cambodia, Indonesia for Asean Volunteer Corps

A GROUP of 10 young Bruneians yesterday left for Cambodia and Indonesia for 16 days as part of the new Asean Young Professionals Volunteers Corps (AYPVC) endorsed at the Asean Youth Ministers Meeting in May, a press release stated.

The Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports hopes the involvement of the young professionals through this initiative will not only contribute to the socio-cultural and economic development of the region, but also bring Asean people closer together and contribute towards realising the Asean Community in 2015.

The participation of Brunei Darusalam in the first two projects under the AYPVC programme involves eight volunteers in Cambodia, including four from the Society for Community Outreach and Training (SCOT) and two from the Youth Development Centre (YDC), and another two volunteers in Indonesia.

The two groups are each being accompanied by three officers from the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports. Two project officers left earlier in preparation for incoming volunteers from all of the 10 Asean countries.

In Cambodia, participants will be engaged in education, agriculture and healthcare activities in Samrong Tong district in Speu province, about 35 kilometres from Phnom Penh, and Lvea Aem, a district in Kandal province about 20 kilometres from the capital which is prone to seasonal flooding at this time of the year. In Samrong Tong, the volunteers will be working with Organisation for Building Community Resources (OBCR), a non-governmental organisation based in the district.

Participants will help provide skill-based training in English education and agriculture to further develop community capacities and improve livelihoods as well as in healthcare delivery including a health and hygiene workshop and a blood donation drive.

In Indonesia, the volunteers will be focusing on special needs care and disaster risk management in Palembang in southern Sumatra. The implementing partner of the project is Mercy Relief, a non-governmental organisation based in Singapore which has been involved in disaster relief and sustainable development projects in more than 23 countries since 2003.

Participants will be divided into two groups based on focus areas. The first group will aim to enhance the capacity of a targeted special needs school to provide a wider range of specialised care services in a better equipped facility.

The AYPVC participants will provide training in speech therapy and enhancing the infrastructural features of the school’s existing building.

The second group will be promoting community safety and preparedness against forest fires and haze through the School Promoting & Learning about Safety and Hygiene (SPLASH) project, which aims to be replicable in other school communities.

Participants will be running community safety workshops, fire drills and hygiene promotion classes in a primary school in Tanjung Alai, Ogan Komerang Ilir (OKI) Regency, which Indonesia’s Meteorological, Climatological and Geophysical Agency has identified as an area prone to hotspots.

Present to send off the delegation yesterday was the Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports, Dato Paduka Awg Haji Mohd Hamid bin Haji Mohd Jaafar, and Director of Youth and Sports Development, Dyg Hajah Norlah Haji Yaakob. They were accompanied by Dk Hamidah Pg Haji Othman, Senior Retail Banking and Wealth Management Sales and Distribution Manager at HSBC which has been supporting the AYPVC programme.

The Asean Young Professionals Volunteer Corps is an initiative of Brunei Darussalam designed to bring together young professionals from Asean member countries to undertake voluntary community work in areas of their expertise in various locations.

It was officially endorsed during the 8th Asean Ministerial Meeting on Youth in Bandar Seri Begawan in May. The programme is led by the Ministry of Youth, Culture and Sports, with the support of various agencies including HSBC Brunei.

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Source: Borneo Bulletin
Author: Borneo Bulletin
Published Date: 25 August 2013

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