updated 11 Dec 2011, 10:22
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Mon, Dec 05, 2011
The Brunei Times/Asia News Network
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Dream comes true for single mother of seven
by Siew Mun Fung

A SINGLE mother's dreams of owning a proper house came true when she was handed over the keys to a new house yesterday afternoon.

The ceremony opens a new page of life for 53-year-old Jaimah Mina, a mother of seven, living in Kg Sungai Hanching. The new house will provide a better and comfortable environment for her and her family.

It was the collaborative efforts between the Brunei-Muara District Office, Brunei Islamic Religious Council and the Community Development Department (Japem) together with Yayasan Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah (YSHHB), which had made the handing-over of the house possible.

The expenditure incurred in the construction of Jaimah's new house was borne by the above-mentioned government agencies with YSHHB contributing $10,000, Japem $7,000 and the Brunei Islamic Religious Council $15,000.

The remaining costs including the connection of electric metres and water supply was supported by the Brunei-Muara District Office 'Tabung Amal' (charity fund).

Haslinda Shahrizan, Jaimah's daughter, said that there was a 'big difference' in their current living situation, as they previously had to rely on a generator in order to provide electricity in their old house.

"We are always in the dark (and were) just using candles. We had to close the generator when it heats up," said Haslinda.

Although 26-year-old Haslinda is very grateful to the government agencies who had helped her family in providing them with proper housing, she said that there were still other less fortunate families who could benefit from similar attention.

"We would like the relevant authorities to help those in need, because there are some who are living without electricity, in wooden houses and far from the roads. We have relatives who are in worst off condition than us. If the relevant authorities can survey every village and look for those in hardship (it would) offer them help," she said.

Jaimah, who works as a manual worker at the Department of Agriculture and Agrifood said her family had stayed in their old house for about 30 years.

The dilapidated house was deemed unsafe for living as it was situated close to a steep hill exposed to soil erosion.

The construction of the new house built on Jaimah's own land began in May this year and was completed early November. The house comes with three bedrooms, a kitchen, a bathroom and toilet, and a living room with a dining area.

The cost for constructing the house was approximately $34,000.

The key to the new house was handed over to Jaimah by Deputy Minister of Religious Affairs Pg Dato Paduka Hj Bahrom Pg Hj Bahar, while the managing director of YSHHB Hj Brahim Hj Ismail presented the certificate of ownership to the new owner.

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