‘Networking facilitates change’

YOUTH leaders in Brunei regard social gatherings and talks as platforms for seeking opportunities for collaborating with other agencies to conduct programmes and activities.

They said attending invited talks isn’t only about meeting people but also creating opportunities for joint projects.

In an interview with The Brunei Times during a talk held by global educator d’Arcy Lunn on the United Nations’ global goals, Izzah Zakaria of non-governmental organisation Green Brunei said having sharing sessions is ‘good’ as youth can learn about the other organisation better.

“Beyond that (attending the talk), we’re meeting all these people from organisations that we can learn from; what they’ve done that we can do with our organisation,” she said.

She said there’s a lot more than just learning from speakers in a talk. There is also learning from other youth, especially during discussions and networking.

“There’s a lot more that one can learn from d’Arcy himself. For example, on the teaspoons of change (little actions that contribute to bigger change) and his optimism. We’re in the same line of business, trying to make and create change,” she added.

Asked about how such talks and gatherings benefit her organisation, she said the connectivity is important, as it’s one way for them to reach out to individuals and organisations outside Brunei to expand their horizons.

“You know that you’ve been doing a certain activity for a while and it kind of hits a plateau. For example, yearly camp sessions and competitions. But then how do you keep going?”

Sharing this sentiment, another youth leader, Muhammad Fadli Hj Zaini, said people often tend to meet one another again at similar events.

“As for me, I’m already connected to the media (through interviews and interaction) and also with people from bodies that are involved in many activities and programmes,” he said.

“I’ve been involved with organisations like Pechakucha BSB and TEDx Gadong and used to be involved with Green Brunei. Personally, I’m concentrating on entrepreneurship and youth development, creating places of partnerships and networks,” Fadli added.

For Norhayatunajibah Hj Kifli, co-founder of Youth Against Slavery (YASBrunei), gatherings are important to her organisation, especially in learning about what other non-governmental organisations (NGOs) are working on.

“It opens (the door) to more possibilities for collaboration, knowledge sharing, getting support particularly for an awareness-oriented group like ours,” she said, adding that they have support from the International Organisation of Migration X (IOMX), which encourages safe migration and public action to stop human trafficking and exploitation.

Another youth who attended the talk, Nurul Batrisyah, said it’s interesting to talk to people from various backgrounds and experiences.

“I came to the talk with my friend and we’re not associated with any organisations or bodies. But after talking to some people, I found them strong-willed and driven to perform volunteer work,” she said, adding that she’s thought about becoming involved in volunteering.

Source: The Brunei Times