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Sounds of Hope

September 5, 2009

5376_109315455813_108446760813_2255454_1582281_sSounds of Hope? The first time I heard that from my dearest Zie, I thought it’s something like an underground music or club. Does it sound anything like the Ministry of Sound?

Sounds of Hope is Brunei’s answer to youth volunteering who devote their time, resources and energy to eradicate poverty in Brunei by the year 2035 – a vision echoed by His Majesty last year in line with the country’s Vision 2035. Yes Brunei do have the poor and the country is yet to come up with its own definition of poverty.

My earlier post on Zakat money has a definition of the poor in accordance to Islamic terms. A fakir is a Muslim who has no source of income or wealth or those who are unable to fulfil half of the needs for him/herself and those of their dependants; a miskin is a Muslim who, though has a bit of wealth or source of income but could only manage to contribute for more than half of his/ her own need and their dependants.

5376_109315430813_108446760813_2255450_1486412_sAccording to the Baitul Mal, a body that look into the affairs of the poor and the very poor; there are about 13,000 who fall into both categories. Japem, the Department responsible for the community has a higher stats – that there are 17,000 poor in Brunei in their record.

5336_122415005813_108446760813_2440415_5218894_sSo what has this Sounds of Hope (SoH) done? A recent Tv interview in Rampai Pagi said that SoH volunteers have visited the poor around Brunei. Pictures in this post are actually taken from the SoH’s fan page at Facebook. Senor Pablo has more heart-warming pictures. SoH now has more than 40 volunteers from a humble six when they were first formed last March. Their next biggest ambition is to hold a charity gala night next month where patrons can buy tables to watch performances by local artists. (See next post on the gala poster). For assurance, SoH also operates under the auspices of the Women Business Council and the volunteers registered under Japem’s Volunteering Programme.

5376_109313885813_108446760813_2255251_2865755_sA number of intial programmes lined up by SoH includes adopt a (poor) family; sponsor a child’s educational needs and micro-credit for the unemployed women. I assume the latter will be for single mothers who do not have any source of income?

For more info on SoH, visit: Sounds of Hope (a Facebook fan page actually). SoH has more than 3,000 fans so far. Hope the number of volunteers is also increasing? I was thinking if SoH aims to get volunteers, Facebook is the right tool as thats where the young and the young-atbut if they need sponsors, they have to open up at least a blog. Most are free too. Feel like writing to SoH? Then drop them a line at:

Lets extend our hands to help the poor.

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