Princess launches Pusat Ehsan's Fifth Annual Charity Bazaar
By Ahmed Shaheeb

Pusat Ehsan is holding it's 5th Charity Bazaar to mark its 10th year anniversary as well as to raise funds to sustain its programmes and activities for special needs individuals.

The two-day event was officially launched yesterday by Her Royal Highness Princess Fadzilah Lubabul Bolkiah

Also present was YAM Pengiran Anak Hj Abdul Wadood Bolkiah bin Pengiran Lela Cheteria Sahibun Najabah Pg Anak Hj Abdul Aziz.

The Deputy Minister of Home Affairs, Pehin Datu Lailaraja Major General (Rtd) Dato Paduka Seri Hj Awg Halbi bin Hj Mohd Yusof, and the Deputy Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports, Datin Hjh Adina binti Othman, also attended the launch, along with other senior government officials.

The chairman of the event's organising committee, Hj Ahmad bin Abd Rahman in his welcoming speech said that this year's bazaar aims to garner financial support for the physical and intellectual rehabilitation of the children of Pusat Ehsan.

"As a self-funding charity organisation, fund raising activities such as this is becoming a major feature of Pusat Ehsan," he said.

Hj Ahmad added that Pusat Ehsan will also be organising an Annual Charity Golf event.

"However, the proceeds from the two events (Charity Bazaar and Charity Golf) are not enough to finance the operations of Pusat Ehsan, which is close to $40,000 a month," he further said. "Fortunately, we are constantly receiving generous donations from various organisations and charitable individuals, thus presenting a major lifeline for our existence."

He added that the synergy between various parties such as staff, teachers and volunteers who make up the bazaar's organising committee had made working towards the realisation of the bazaar an enjoyable task. Hj Ahmad also thanked the public for giving time and support towards the cause.

"Generous contributions and assistance from members of the public, corporate sectors and government departments have made this charity bazaar a huge success," he said.

Meanwhile Hj Abd Hamid bin Maaruf, the Head of Administration at Pusat Ehsan said that the centre had set up as many as 65 stalls, 90 per cents of which had been taken up.

He added that this year's bazaar has received very positive response as bookings for the stalls were taken well in advance of the event. Among the activities held at this year's charity bazaar are horse riding, superbike riding and "Flying Fox". Today the bazaar will feature a "star competition" and quizzes organised by Rangkaian Harmoni of Radio Brunei, and will be broadcast live over local airwaves.

Hj Abd Hamid said that 124 children with special needs are currently registered with the centre. He added that Pusat Ehsan and will continue to increase its efforts to raise funds by organising events such as the bazaar.

The members of the visiting public need to purchase $5 coupons to buy items at the bazaar, with each coupon to be placed in collection boxes upon payment. The coupons entitle the customers to entries in a lucky draw. The bazaar is open from 9am till 5.30pm today. - Borneo Bulletin (3rd October 2010)