ASEAN officially announced Haji Muhammad Iqbal Fakhri bin Haji Damit (picture below) as the recipient of the 2022 ASEAN Award, the ASEAN Secretariat said.
Haji 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, Haji Muhammad Iqbal Fakhri has been a visible figure in the implementation of humanitarian aid initiatives for 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, Haji 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, Haji Muhammad Iqbal Fakhri plans to bring one million ASEAN youth together in a collaborative ASEAN outreach program.
ASEAN Secretary General Dato Paduka Lim Jock Hoi praised Haji Muhammad Iqbal Fakhri for his dedication to 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 appreciates his commitment to initiating voluntary collective actions and raising awareness among young people. This ASEAN award is given in tribute to his work and, furthermore, in recognition of an exemplary young ASEAN leader.
Haji 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.