An-Nur Harapan to continue upskilling differently-abled with new centre from MCYS

An-Nur Harapan's flagship vocational training programme for youth with developmental disorders UnikLearn will host its third cycle next month

MCYS Minister Major General (Rtd) Dato Paduka Seri Awg Hj Aminuddin Ihsan (Centre R) with An-Nur Harapan's Chairman Pg Hj Salleh Ab-Rahaman (Centre L) at the graduation ceremony of the second cycle of UnikLearn last week at Rizqun International Hotel.

Social enterprise An-Nur Harapan will be delivering upskilling programmes for differently-abled Bruneians directly after being leased a bungalow by the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports (MCYS) in Jln Kebangsaan which will be used as their headquarters.

An-Nur Harapan’s flagship project UnikLearn – which has trained 10 Bruneian youth with developmental disorders for employment – has undergone two cycles delivered by external training organisations.

An-Nur Harapan’s General Manager Melline Hj Jaini said they have hired trainers in-house to deliver the third cycle of UnikLearn which will begin next month and are working on other initiatives for social and community causes, while also exploring new business models to help fund their programmes and potentially provide employability for differently-abled and underprivileged.

“So far An-Nur Harapan and UnikLearn has been mainly funded through private donations by individuals and organisations but we want to explore new models of generating revenue to sustainably fund our programmes in the long-term,” said Melline. “Delivering the training directly will also be more cost-efficient in the long-term as we continue to refine the syllabus and programme delivery.”

All 10 UnikLearn graduates received full scholarships to participate in the programme which is being shortened to 10 months for the next cycle as the weekly schedule has been expanded from four to five days a week. The cost of the course per trainee is $1,000 a month.

MCYS Minister Major General (Rtd) Dato Paduka Seri Awg Hj Aminuddin Ihsan (R) speaking to Hj Muhd Zul Fadzli (L) who recently completed an attachment at AMD United Transport.

The setting up of pop up ice cream kiosk UnikKone as an extension of the UnikLearn programme helped kickstart revenue-generating efforts while also doubling as a training ground for the trainees.

An-Nur Harapan’s recent Coffee With a Cause partnership with Mr. Brown’s sole distributor in Brunei Aiking Trading also helped draw in $8,200 through a 10 cent give back for the sale of each special edition tinned coffee.

All seven graduates from the second cycle completed three months of attachment at established companies with two beginning full-time employment at Mulia Hotel and Poni Divers in frontline service and administration respectively.

UnikLearn initially targeted Bruneian youth with autism spectrum disorder, but later expanded to include other developmental disabilities. Despite the trainees specific conditions and diverse backgrounds, Melline said UnikLearn is able to meet their needs by using a tailor-made approach and smaller cycles of less than ten students each.

“The programme helps the trainees identify their own skills, life and career goals and how to practically achieve them, so each trainee has their own individual transition plan,” she added. “This covers interpersonal (communication) skills, (independent) living skills and executive functioning skills (for work) including executing instructions and basic documenting, calculating and measuring.”