Citibank movie outing with SMARTER
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- Created on Friday, 27 July 2012 03:29
- Published on Friday, 27 July 2012 03:28
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"Citibank movie outing with SMARTER"
Article from Borneo Bulletin Sunday. Published on Sunday Apr, 29 2012
Citibank Brunei yesterday put a smile on the faces of some 100 children diagnosed with Autism from SMARTER Brunei as they were treated to the screening of the blockbuster movie 'Avengers' at the Empire Cinema.
In celebrating Citibank's 200th year, they made a difference by bringing cheers and smiles to the children of SMARTER Brunei for a movie outing. The event, which was also part of the Citibank Global Community Day, saw the children receiving goodie bags upon arrival at the cinema.
Present as guest of honour at the event was Datin Paduka Hjh Adina binti Othman, the Deputy Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports.
Acting Citibank Country Officer Pg Hj Mohd Yussof bin Pg Hj Bahar in his welcoming remarks said, "This year, we are celebrating the 200th year of Citibank's formation. We were first formed in New York on June 16, 1812 and as part of this celebration we are here today to celebrate them in Brunei Darussalam. Our presence here in Brunei started in 1972 and we have been here for 40 years now."
In Brunei, he said, "we celebrate them by bringing cheers and smiles as well as laughter to the wonderful children of SMARTER and their families in Brunei, with the hope of developing life skills and strategies for greater community involvement. One of the skills sets that SMARTER works towards is blending the kids into the social environment. It is our hope that the kids and families will be able to blend and be acceptable to the community."
He also conveyed his gratitude to 'Citibankers' in Brunei for the commitment in promoting the Citibank Worldwide values of "making our communities a better place to be in".
Meanwhile the guest of honour, Datin Paduka Hjh Adina in her remarks thanked Citibank and said that any assistance from the private sector in helping the government in increasing the quality of life for special needs children is welcomed.
"Brunei Darussalam has already signed the convention of rights for people with special needs. However, we have not ratified it because we have to make sure that the right of people with special needs is being cared for in terms of access to education, employment and in today's case, leisure and entertainment. This event gives the special needs students the opportunity to watch a movie in the cinema as a social activity," she said.
The highlight of the event was the presentation of a a mock cheque of B$3,000 by the Acting Citibank Country Officer, Pg Hj Mohd Yussof to Datin Paduka Hjh Adina, who in turn handed over the cheque to Awg Hj Roslan bin Hj Yahya, the Treasurer of SMARTER Brunei.
Speaking as a representative of the President of SMARTER Brunei and executive committee members, Awg Hj Roslan in his speech described the outing experience for autistic children.
"Going out to watch movies would be an effortless activity for some of us, the so-called more abled individuals. But for individuals with autism, it is quite a daunting task and is not easy as it looks. These kinds of activity is being prepared step by step and go through a number of manageable small activities such as queuing up to buy tickets, paying for tickets and going into the cinema," he said.
"These activities are prepared by SMARTER Brunei's community adaptation programme. In addition, individuals with autism have to be well-prepared because of particular sensory issues as (there are) many cinema speakers and quite a few resist being in the dark.
"However, I understand that the Empire Cinema has arranged bearable conditions for the children so that they can enjoy the movie as much as the others. With that, SMARTER Brunei appreciates Empire Cinema for allowing the children to enjoy the movie," he added.