Mercy Relief (MR) is taking its efforts to groom future humanitarians and young volunteers beyond Singapore.  The humanitarian relief and development organisation signed a Memorandum of Cooperation (MoC) with the Universiti Brunei Darussalam (UBD), and finalised details for regional youth volunteering projects with Brunei’s Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports (MCYS) earlier this week.

The Cooperation with UBD comprises a joint undergraduate module on humanitarian affairs and internship placements with MR where interns would be given the opportunity to be part of MR’s outbound teams to serve less fortunate communities regionally.  The module includes topics such as the history and evolution of the humanitarian sector; the principles, philosophies and mechanics of humanitarian work; stakeholders’ management and appropriate technological innovations for the sector.

The MoC was inked on Monday between MR’s Chief Executive Hassan Ahmad and UBD’s Assistant Vice Chancellor (Global Affairs) Dr Anita Aziz.  Witnessing the signing were Brunei’s Permanent Secretary for MCYS Dato Hamid Jaafar, Permanent Secretary for Ministry of Education (Higher Education) and Vice Chancellor for UBD Dato Zulkarnain Hanafi, and Singapore’s High Commissioner to Brunei, Jaya Ratnam.

Dr Anita commented, “Part of UBD’s ethos is the recognition that social responsibility must be the backbone of any university in the 21st century knowledge-based economy.  Our graduates are future leaders and decision makers of the nation.  They must be socially responsible citizens who are able to shape and lead the nation’s communities and economy with wisdom, foresight, and a keen understanding of our shared future.  It is a privilege to be collaborating with MR and the MCYS to continue to provide opportunities for our students to serve the less fortunate and contribute to community development, regionally in ASEAN, as well as beyond.”

In his address at the signing event, Mr Hassan shared, “Education is not merely about formulae, concepts or theories. These are means which help trigger the mental gymnastics in the learners. It is also about the development and growth of the learners we seek to nurture. And this includes real-life exposure for character building which encompasses compassion, integrity, graciousness, leadership, love and other key values.  In tandem, with Asia hosting 70% of the world’s natural disasters, it is important that we start planning and preparing collectively now, such that our next generation, and the generations after them, would be able to continue to live, grow and prosper together in a peaceful, safe and secured environment.”

MR and the MCYS are putting the final bolts and nuts for the impending implementation of the *ASEAN Young Professional Volunteer Corps (AYVPC) expeditions where young working adults from the 10 ASEAN countries would come together this August and September to serve poor and rural communities in the region, starting with Indonesia, Cambodia and the Philippines.

Dato Hamid said, “The recent government emphasis on youth volunteerism had included many activities in areas such as the environment and rural development as well as helping less fortunate groups in Brunei and communities in other ASEAN countries. This will not only benefit the communities, but also the youth themselves in terms of their self-development.”

The MR team met with Singapore’s President Dr Tony Tan Keng Yam and the accompanying Singapore delegation on Wednesday and shared on the multi-sectoral approach to boost volunteerism and social service in the region.

* [The AYVPC is the initiative of the Brunei MCYS which has been approved by the Youth Ministers at last week’s ASEAN Meeting of Ministers on Youths (AMMY). The Brunei MCYS had identified and invited MR to facilitate these regional expeditions including training and mentoring of the volunteers, and provide operations support at the overseas service locations.]


UBD AVC Dr Anita and MR CE Hassan inking the cooperation which includes a humanitarian affairs course and internship placements. Witnessing are (from left) UBD Dr Abby Tan, PS MOE Dato Zulkarnain, PS MCYS Dato Hamid, H.E. Jaya Ratnam and MR Jaffar .

MR CE Hassan, PS MCYS Dato Hamid and MR Dir Jaffar all geared to receive President Tony Tan Keng Yam at the Pusat Belia. 


(left) MR tribesmen and UBD staff briefing President Tony Tan Keng Yam and Mrs Tan on the developments of the cooperation.

(right)Visiting SPS MOM and MOE Hawazi Daipi catching up with MR tribesmen at the Pusat Belia.


(left) MR CE Hassan introducing MR’s anchor for the AYPVC programme , tribesman Carol Liew, to H.E. Jaya Ratnam.

(right) MR CE Hassan updating Minister for MOH Gan Kim Yong on NUH’s and Singhealth’s participation in various MR’s overseas medical missions.

About Mercy Relief

Mercy Relief is a Singaporean humanitarian organisation which engages in both disaster relief and sustainable development programmes. It was established in 2003 as an independent non-governmental humanitarian charity responding to the human tragedies in Asia. Mercy Relief’s aid programme focuses on providing timely and effective assistance to disaster-stricken communities and has maintained the delivery of emergency aid within 72 hours from the point of appeal for assistance.  

In the past 12 years, Mercy Relief has disbursed over S$32 million in aid across 40 disaster relief and 53 sustainable development initiatives. Mercy Relief has impacted an aggregate of 2 million lives in 24 countries and areas, namely Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, DPR Korea, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Japan, Laos, Lebanon, Malaysia, the Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal,  Pakistan, Palestine, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam and Yemen.

For more information, you may call us at 6514 6322 or email

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