Eight youths were presented with awards last week during the 16th National Youth Day Celebration that was held at the International Convention Centre, Berakas, being recognised for their exceptional talents and contributions to the greater community. 

The 16th National Youth Day celebration had double the award recipients compared to previous years as this year acknowledged youth representatives from the year 2020 as well as 2021. 

In light of this, each of the four award categories namely the Excellent Youth Award, Youth Service Award, Youth Leader Award and Outstanding Youth Project Award saw two individuals bringing home the auspicious trophies. 

The awards were a way to show appreciation to these youths who have spent much of their hardwork to make a change in the world and have become role models to other youths in Brunei. 

His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah, Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam was on hand to present the recipients with the awards.

Recipients of the former three categories received a trophy, woven fabric, certificate of appreciation also cash of $3,000 for the development of their projects, while the recipient of the last category brought home a trophy, certificate of appreciation and an incentive grant [C-Grant] as much as $3,500 for the development of their projects.

2021 recipient of the Excellent Youth Award, Chong Chin Yee, CEO of legacy planning startup Memori felt very honoured to receive the award. 

Image: Yusri Adanan

Having been part of multiple projects spanning different issues relating to the environment such as climate change and recycling, Chong is also recognised for her work mentoring other youths in entrepreneurship, leveraging on her experience and networks attained from operating Memori. 

“I wanted to contribute back to Brunei. I came from an underprivileged family but my mother told me to become a hardworking and responsible person and (that) our financial circumstances do not define who we are and hard work will never betray us,” she said. 

The 2021 Excellent Youth Award winner went to acknowledge the level of young talent, the sultanate has and encouraged local youths to make use of those talents and take the initiative to seek opportunities whether inside or outside the country. 

Meanwhile 2020 Excellent Youth Award recipient Mohd Adi Salihin is a martial artist from Brunei’s Wushu Association who has brought home the gold for Brunei during the 30th SEA Games in 2019. 

Image: Yusri Adanan

He expressed gratefulness to the people around him, who have supported him in his journey in sports and martial arts. 

Training for the Wushu enthusiast is not unlike other athletes, however Wushu required him to focus on his stamina. His training consisted of a lot of sprinting and jumping and ifnally with all that hard work this athlete was not only able to compete regionally but also internationally.

“I am a small person but with big dreams, we may not be the best but we can do our very best. As my coach says, how much you give is how much you get,” he added. 

As for Haji Mohammad Loqman, CEO of Islamic-education service, Al-Huffaz Management, winning the Youth Leader Award for the year 2020 was a great honour not only for himself but also his team. 

Image: Yusri Adanan

He actually won the best youth project for the National Youth Day 2017 which became an important stepping stone for his organisation which kept growing and eventually fostering more leaders, mentors and teachers. 

As the co-chairman for the Brunei Young Leaders Convention (BYLC), Haji Mohammad Loqman also noted the strengths of today’s youth, who are not only resilient but also lead with heart and passion. 

Image: Yusri Adanan

The 2021 Youth Leader Award went to Kwan Pei Yun, an education officer at Sekolah Tinggi Perempuan Raja Isteri (STPRI). 

Image: Yusri Adanan

For the Youth Services Award, the recipient for the year 2020 was Haji Abdul Mateen Bolkini who, the founder and CEO of Tambang.bn while for the year 2021, the award went to Muhammad Syahmi, Commissioner for Public Relations and Publication, of the Brunei Darussalam Scouts Association.

Image: Yusri Adanan

The Outstanding Youth Project award was  awarded to Noorhafizah Haji Rashid for her project Big BWN Project for the year 2020. As for the year 2021, it was awarded to the project, HIV Awareness Programme For Peers and Youth (H.A.P.P.Y) being supervised by Siti Kailene.

This article was first published on 14 August 2021 in our Weekly E-Paper issue 154

THE BRUNEIAN | BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

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