His Royal Highness Prince 'Abdul Mateen ibni Kebawah Duli Yang Maha Mulia Paduka Seri Baginda Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu'izzaddien in a sabda emphasised on the need to drive positive change to build an inclusive society - one which integrates people with different physical and mental abilities into the mainstream society. His Royal Highness highlighted that the change can be made through collaborations and partnerships and to work together to promote a more active citizenry, where fellow Bruneians have a sense of duty to care for people with special needs. His Royal Highness made the sabda at the Opening Ceremony of The Rehabilitation Block of The Pusat Ehsan Al-Ameerah Al-Hajjah Maryam Redevelopment Plan Phase One in Kampung Bengkurong, this morning.
Upon arrival, His Royal Highness was greeted by Pengiran Datin Hajah Noraini binti Pengiran Dipa Negara Laila DiRaja Pengiran Haji Abdul Momin, Executive Trustee of Pusat Ehsan Al-Ameerah Al-Hajjah Maryam; Awang Haji Ahmad bin Haji Abd Rahman, Trustee for Policy and Planning of the Centre and Dato Paduka Awang Haji Mohd Alimin bin Haji Abdul Wahab, the Centre's Senior Trustee. Also present was Her Royal Highness Princess Fadzillah Lubabul Bolkiah binti His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mui'zzaddien Waddaulah.
Reading Surah Al-Fatihah at the start of the ceremony was led by Yang Berhormat Pehin Orang Kaya Paduka Seri Utama Dato Paduka Seri Setia Haji Awang Salim bin Haji Besar. The Trustee for Policy and Planning of the Centre as Co-Chairman of the ceremony, in his welcoming address, said the reconstruction of Pusat Ehsan Al-Ameerah Al-Hajah Maryam aims to make the centre relevant with the current demands in providing effective services to people with special needs. According to Awang Haji Ahmad, the centre has just completed drafting a special curriculum for the special needs students' education with the assistance of consultant from Singapore. He added, networking between government agencies and corporate are actively being carried out including relevant international organisations in ensuring the centre's services are always relevant with the current needs as well as in enabling the centre to share information and resource sharing experience.
His Royal Highness Prince 'Abdul Mateen, in his sabda underlined that, the opening of the block is a development that is particularly significant because it is a manifestation of many helping hands through a public-private-community support. His Royal Highness added that the opening of the block sees the beginning of a new chapter in the centre's history of services and he knows that new development, like all of the services, are guided by a practice of care and compassion, reaching out and improving lives for special needs individuals in Brunei.
His Royal Highness Prince 'Abdul Mateen then signed a plaque and received a pasambah. To seek blessings for the ceremony, Doa Selamat was read by Yang Berhormat Pehin Orang Kaya Paduka Seri Utama Dato Paduka Seri Setia Haji Awang Salim bin Haji Besar. In conjunction with the opening of the block, products produced by students of the Pusat Ehsan al-Ameerah Al-Hajjah Maryam were also displayed. The exhibition features on the future plan of the centre which include the construction of a surau and vocational block. The Phase One of Pusat Ehsan Al-Ameerah Al-Hajjah Maryam new building was built at a cost of over 2 million dollars on a 1,600 square metre site. At present, almost 200 students are registered at the centre with various special needs such as Autisme Spectrum Disorder, Cerebral Palsy, Delay Development, Down Syndrome, visually and hearing impaired and others.
The new building that began in operation on the 3rd of April this year, is equipped with class and activity rooms, a pool and garden for therapy, and a gymnasium with modern physical training machines and equipment, to provide a comprehensive therapy service. Apart from that, the centre also provides educational training or physio-therapy services for people with special needs. 17 years ago, Pusat Ehsan Al-Ameerah Al-Hajah Maryam was initially a Child Care Centre. Nowadays, the centre is well-developed and received positive reputation as various programmes and services provider for special need individuals in the country. With the expenditure of about 50 thousand dollars monthly, the centre is operated by 40 workforces, physio-therapists, majority of them are locals. A landmark centre for caring the welfare and well-being of people who needs special attention is hoped will act as a more conducive platform towards integrating special needs individuals in the country.
Source: Radio Television Brunei