KUCHING: Youths in the state are given a chance to express and unearth their talents through a series of development programmes which focus on four main components.
Based on ‘The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award’ the four components are social services, skills, exploration and physical recreation.
The participants of these four components according to the director of Youth and Sports Department Haris Ishak would receive the state-level ‘Rakan Muda Youth Premier’ bronze and silver awards.
For those receiving the gold award, the participants were put the extra mile by taking part in a placement project which required them to stay outside their hometowns over five days.
“The placement project is aimed at giving the participants a chance to mingle with the locals and to expand their experiences through various beneficial activities,” said Haris during the closing of the programme at the department’s headquarters here on Friday night.
He also said this year’s programme recorded a total of 1,120 participants who were vying for the bronze award, 135 for the silver and 40 for the gold.
“The number of participants exceeds our target of 1,000 participants in all categories,” he added.
Despite the huge number of participants, only 417 managed to take home the bronze, 157 silver and 14 gold awards.
Among those taking part in the programme were the Youth and Sports Department branches in Kuching, Kota Samarahan, Sri Aman, Betong, Sarikei, Sibu, Kapit, Mukah, Bintulu, Miri and Limbang.
Meanwhile, permanent secretary to the Ministry of Social Development Kameri Affandi said the ministry would cooperate with the department in organising the programme in future years.
“This is a beneficial programme for youths in the state. To expand and get more participants, I will ensure that it will get a full backing from the ministry,” said Kameri.