08
May
09

Service Projects in Brunei?

As the sole Bruneian on campus, I get frequent questions about what Brunei is like. A Southeast Asian volunteer group based largely here on campus (SEALNET) leads annual service trips to all but two of the wealthiest SEA countries (Brunei and Singapore). I was stretched to think of a possible meaningful service project in Brunei that could benefit from flying in volunteers from other countries. Although there are many small-scale volunteer projects at the local community (kampung) level, one simply does not hear of any sort of international aid projects in Brunei. Examples of SEALNET volunteer projects in other Southeast Asian countries include improvement of water sanitation, waste management and illiteracy. For now, most applicants to these volunteer projects are undergraduates at American colleges and the projects attract a large number of international students from SEA countries studying here in the US. After selection, students have several months to plan and then lead a two-week service program to somewhere in Southeast Asia over the summer break between June and August. It would be great to have some foreign students over in Brunei both to volunteer in some sort of project and also to learn about our unique country . So while I do not have any ideas leaping forth, I would be eager to hear any ideas anyone in Brunei might have.

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