2 March 2021
Youth Volunteers in the fight against COVID-19

The importance of volunteerism has seldom been more pronounced, and can be seen especially now, in a time when not only the nation but the whole world is facing the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Volunteers hold a pivotal role as frontliners, alongside doctors, paramedics, flight crew and handlers. In an initiative to provide valuable assistance to the “people on the ground” during challenging times, the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports set up a COVID-19 Youth Volunteers group in early May 2020.

The Youth Volunteers group operates 24/7 at the Community Development Department’s Pusat Bahagia in Pulaie, and are proactive in contributing their service as well as time and energy in the fight against COVID-19.

A number of youths volunteered at mosques nationwide during the re-opening of mosques in May 2020 - after a 10-week closure due to the COVID-19 outbreak across the community - to help smoothen the process of Friday prayers and to ensure that procedures and regulations enforced by the Ministry of Health were followed.

After five months of operation, the number of registered volunteers under the Youth Volunteer group had grown to up to 1,900, thus making up one of the main helping hands of the Ministry of Health.

To ensure systemic management, eight main units were formed under the COVID-19 Youth Volunteers group operating at the Indoor Stadium of the Hassanal Bolkiah National Sports Complex. They were, namely: 1) Administration and Secretariat; 2) Isolation Centre at Hotels; 3) Community; 4) System and Database; 5) Labour Management; 6) The National Service Programme Alumni; 7) Finance; and 8) Logistics.

After six months of assisting the Ministry of Health at isolation centres at hotels, 29th September 2020 marked the last day the youth volunteers were on duty and with that, the their service at the isolation centres came to an end.

From 18th March 2020 till 29th September 2020, more than 500 volunteers were on duty, with more than 2,000 deployments made. To date, some 2,500 youths have registered with the group.

The COVID-19 Youth Volunteers group celebrated its first 300 days of operation on 11th January 2021. The group members have gone through various obstacles and challenges, but through their high spirit of volunteerism, dedication and commitment they had shown charitable and compassionate traits, and fully understood the meaning of sacrifice, resilience, and their love for the nation, without expecting anything in return.

These devoted volunteers have embarked on a journey of valuable cooperation, carrying values such as unity and solidarity not only with government agencies but with NGOs and private sector companies as well.

Source: Department of Information