BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN (Borneo Bulletin/Asia News Network): ASEAN has officially announced that Muhammad Iqbal Fakhri Damit (pictured) will be the winner of the 2022 ASEAN Prize, the ASEAN Secretariat has said.
Muhammad Iqbal Fakhri is a youth advocate and community leader from Brunei. He has actively promoted inclusive community development and intensified regional cooperation towards a resilient Asean community. Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen made the announcement at the closing of the 40th and 41st ASEAN and Related Summits in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
Since 2010, Muhammad Iqbal Fakhri has been a visible figure in the implementation of humanitarian relief initiatives with affected populations in the region.
It specifically served the displaced people by mobilizing basic needs such as nutritional sustenance, water, sanitation, shelter and educational facilities, among others. His perseverance in implementing ground-based humanitarian relief operations has also inspired greater youth participation in these efforts.
The ASEAN Secretariat said that as the founder of Brunei Darussalam-based non-profit organization Hand4Hand, Muhammad Iqbal Fakhri advocates for volunteerism among young people.
Under his leadership, Hand4Hand worked with over 2,000 volunteers to support the delivery of humanitarian aid and emergency response in the region and beyond to serve the vulnerable and needy.
Through Hand4Hand, Muhammad Iqbal Fakhri plans to bring one million young people from across Asean together in a collaborative Asean outreach program.
ASEAN Secretary General Dato Paduka Lim Jock Hoi praised Muhammad Iqbal Fakhri for his dedication in carrying out humanitarian aid projects and helping those in need.
Dato Paduka Lim Jock Hoi stressed the importance of such actions in advancing a cohesive and resilient Asean community: “ASEAN values its commitment to initiating voluntary collective actions and raising awareness among young people. This ASEAN award is given in tribute to his work and, moreover, in recognition of an exemplary young ASEAN leader.
Muhammad Iqbal Fakhri said: “I would like to thank Almighty Allah for this award. Special gratitude also goes to everyone who believes in my work and has supported me. I would also like to dedicate this award to the volunteers and youth leaders, especially in Brunei, who have worked hard to lead and believe in their various causes. I hope everyone will be rewarded with better returns and have the strength to keep doing amazing work.