Category: Local Written by Borneo Bulletin Hits: 427
Bandar Seri Begawan: Royal Dutch Shell PLC (the "Shell Group") said it would be donating US$2.5 million in response to the catastrophic Typhoon Haiyan that struck the Philippines.
This donation is on top of fundraising activities organised by various Shell offices worldwide, according to a press release.
The donation from the Shell Group will be used for rebuilding and rehabilitation efforts in areas badly hit by Typhoon Haiyan, as a way of providing long-term assistance for the affected communities.
Following suit in Brunei Darussalam, the Brunei Shell Joint Venture (BSJV) companies have also organised a company-wide donation appeal immediately after the establishment of the Humanitarian Fund for Natural Disaster by the Government of Brunei Darussalam.
Comprising Brunei Shell Petroleum Co Sdn Bhd (BSP), Brunei LNG Sdn Bhd (BLNG), Brunei Shell Tankers (BST) and Brunei Shell Marketing (BSM), the Brunei Shell group of companies encouraged staff members to donate funds via a specially-created online account.
The funds collected will be officially presented to the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports as the official agency managing the National Humanitarian Fund for the Philippines.
In addition to that, BSJV companies have also set up a collection centre at the Oil and Gas Discovery Centre (OGDC) in Seria where emergency relief items such as food, water and other essential needs items can be dropped off.
To date, BSJV staff and its business partners have shown an unfailing generosity in helping those in need and their response to this appeal has been overwhelming.
Boxes of clothes, bags of rice, packaged food and cartons of bottled water, sometimes delivered by the "truckful", have been received and processed by the collection centre.
As some of the BSJV companies are based in the Brunei-Muara District, another collection point has been set up at the BSM office where the Bandar-based workers can conveniently drop off donations.
In his appeal to staff, Managing Director of BSP Ken Marnoch on behalf of the BSJV companies said, "In our community, we have a lot of people working from the Philippines, both in our larger companies and in our business partner companies.
"We have workers concerned for the continuing health and safety of their family and relatives. There are also some who are still waiting for information about the situation back home.
"So please take time to look at your companies and worksites and see if anyone needs help or support."
There are many small examples of how BSJV staff members have shown their sincerity in wanting to support the relief efforts.
A team which had won an internal achievement award decided to donate the prize to the humanitarian fund.
Scores of staff volunteers and their families have also contributed their time to help sort and pack the items at OGDC and deliver them to one of the designated government collection centres - Mumong Sports Complex.
The whole group of companies have mobilised their resources to make the relief efforts a success, amongst them are BSP's logistics section and its Fire and Rescue Services, who have helped carry and transport donations to collection centres.
In a small effort to further emphasise the human aspect of the current relief effort volunteers have also taken the time to write "Letters of Hope" to the people of the Philippines that offer words of encouragement and hope to those affected by Typhoon Haiyan.
These letters will be sent to the Philippines and distributed together with the care packages being handed out on the ground.
Several BSJV staff members hailing from the Philippines have expressed their utmost appreciation for the ongoing relief activities.
In a heartfelt e-mail to fellow colleagues, Jorge Taguinod wrote, "To BSP, the Brunei Government and the Brunei people, I am writing this letter to express my heartfelt gratitude for your charity towards my countrymen in this time of calamity brought about by the Typhoon Yolanda.
"We were touched by the Bruneian volunteers manning the donation centre as we felt their concern, expressed in hours spent in this volunteer work for this endeavour instead of spending it with their own families or for personal relaxation.
"We were also so very touched by the magnanimity of His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam for using his military crafts to bring the relief goods to the impacted areas in the Philippines.
"I will personally remember the immense goodness of the Brunei people for as long as I live, not only because of this experience, but also in my daily interaction with them inside and outside of BSP.
"Forgive me for not being able to fully express my heartfelt gratitude and awe at the way you practise charity and goodness in your daily living."
Throughout the whole initiative, the sBSJV collection centre has worked closely with the government agencies in ensuring the relief efforts are well coordinated, especially in terms of delivery, storage and types of items that are a priority for the people of the Philippines.
The BSJV donation appeal ends this Tuesday.
Courtesy of Borneo Bulletin
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