Curtin Sarawak student organisation Humanitarian Affairs Curtin Sarawak (HACS) recently organised a community engagement project, Building Brunei Abroad Program, in neighbouring Brunei Darussalam.
Fourteen HACS volunteers traveled to the nearby district of Kuala Belait in Brunei to engage with the less fortunate including visits to Pusat Bahagia Eric Goh, the Seria Old Folks Home and Menderam Besar Longhouse.
Through its activities, HACS provides students with opportunities to engage in humanitarian service, strengthen their awareness of diverse cultures and helps to create positive change.
“The visits brought positive results in terms of relationship-building, not only with the Belait community but also among the project team members,” says HACS chairperson Nurul Qumariyyah binti Haji Abdul Wahab.
For Indonesian volunteer Mutiara Ariva, the visit to the Seria Old Folks’ Home was an especially heart-warming experience.
“The project helped cultivate a strong sense of volunteerism in us, and I now look forward to participating in more volunteer programs and changing people’s lives for the better,” says Mutiara.
Another volunteer says it was an amazing experience to be involved more closely with neighbouring communities. “It left a big impact on us, and opened our eyes and hearts to do more kindness for others in the future.”
At Menderam Besar Longhouse, the volunteers were entertained to a traditional dance performance and given a demonstration of basket weaving by the villagers, as well as helped to prepare local delicacies for a communal lunch.
“It was wonderful to see the effort the young people from Curtin put in to engaging with our community. I am sure it has left a lasting impression on everyone,” says head of the longhouse, Awang Berandi anak Jaman.
HACS President Dexter Stanley Guang says the project exposed the volunteers to aspects of Brunei’s communities most might not be aware of.
“It was great to see the volunteers from Malaysia, Indonesia and Myanmar bonding with the people we visited.”
The HACS program is part of Humanitarian Affairs, a UK-based social enterprise that initiates and supports humanitarian relief efforts and community development programs in poverty-stricken and disaster prone countries around the world.
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