Unleash Nature’s Avengers

“NATURE’S Avengers initiative is a project for youths, by youths,” said Hanna Hassanal, 18, a Green Brunei Student Ambassador and Project Coordinator of the Nature’s Avengers project.
The project is one of the many exemplary youth-initiated projects in Brunei.

While Green Brunei is a non-government organisation (NGO) that focuses on environmental awareness, it has become a platform for charismatic youth leaders to take charge of leading projects that that focus on environmental awareness, preservation and conservation such as the mangrove planting project.

Under Green Brunei, within the Nature’s Avengers project, there exists an independent group of youths who wants to do something for the Brunei environment.

“We self-initiated this project in order to be exposed to understanding how big volunteering projects can be successful,” said Nani Azlan, 18, Public Relations (PR) Officer for the Nature’s Avengers project.

The willingness and one-mindedness of wanting to do something has led these group of people to come together to organise a community programme.

“In early January, we came together to come up with a plan to do something with the children for the environment,” said Nur Alya Syafiqah, a project member. She said that they all met through mutual friends, and some others were just strangers but were interested in the project idea.

“There were only 12 of us and we didn’t know each other. Everyone has different backgrounds but we all had the same intentions,” said Bazeelah Rafaea, another project member.

“I remember our first meeting was held around Kiulap. I felt tense and clueless. In time though, we got along fine with each other,” said Nur Alya.

The idea of Nature’s Avengers is to educate the young about the environment. Nani explained that the idea was focused on primary-level children to be able to independently interact with the natural environment while teaching them the importance of sustainability, conservation and preservation of Brunei’s forest.”

“The initiative is aimed at collaboration with the community to explore habitats that might be endangered or to simply expose Bruneians to more than just the greenery,” added Nani.

“After our first meeting, we planned and organised catering, logistics and programme activities. Because we only get to meet once a week, our communication was mostly done through text messaging,” said the project coordinator.

“Like most of us in the initial stages, we didn’t know how or where to get started and acquire the resources. We help each other through our experiences.”

“Nature’s Avengers project is a one-day programme. We aim to gather children from all over the country to gain practical knowledge. These include Gaharu tree planting, creating fishponds and turtle hatcheries. At the end of the day, we asked the children to present what they learnt throughout the programme,” said Nani.

Hanna Hassanal stated that she was introduced to the project site through networks at the Bandar Seri Begawan Youth Centre that supported the movement.

“Our project site is the Bintudoh Green Springs Resort. We chose the place because our goals are in line with the resort which aims to introduce the resort to the community in an eco-friendly way,” said Hanna.

The project played a role in implementing activities in the resort area to help promote the site through “green” means. One of the project member also explained that Bintudoh was “spacious” and very “fertile”.

“The trial run at the project site was held on January 24 while the actual event was held on January 27,” said Aliyah. Nani mentioned that the project team has never been to the site before but they were able to plan their needs “on-the-spot” to help make the programme successful.

“Our first time going there felt adventurous. I think it felt the same for the children who went there,” said Aliyah.

“After the programme on that day, I felt that it needed more work. Our goals were achieved when we had 30 primary schoolchildren participating,” said Nani.

“We were enthusiastic to implement another programme but with the same values of educating kids,” said Nani.

She explained that currently they have about 40 volunteers who could implement green ideas such as “Nature in Art” that could be implement in the next programme scheduled to be held on March 24.

“We are expecting 100 schoolchildren to participate. We are also looking for committed working committee members to work with the Nature’s Avengers because the programme is definitely going to be larger than the first one,” added Nani.

She felt that it was important for project members and volunteers to be responsible in gaining more experience and share knowledge among the participants so they can be more conscious towards the preservation of the surrounding environment.

“As much as we are motivated to continue with the project, we lack the financial resources. We are only getting logistics aid from the Youth Centre in the capital. Currently, we are looking for financial support for the project,” said the concerned 19-year old Hanna Hassanal.

The Nature’s Avengers project is conducted with assistance from the Youth and Sports Department, Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports, and Aroma Plantations and Greenspring Resort. “I think what is so great about this project is that we are able to learn about leadership and initiate projects with other agencies. In the long term, I hope everyone sets up their own initiative and become project leaders.”

You can contact Hanna Hassanal at 8873183 for more information regarding the project.

Source: The Brunei Times