Volunteer in Bangladesh
What to Know Before Volunteering in Colombia
The country of Bengal located in South Asia with 160 million people that is situated at the heart of Ganges-Brahmaputra-Delta .The People’s Republic of Bangladesh founded in 1971. Bangladesh along with the beautiful places, expect to see a lot of poverty, richness of culture available in Bangladesh and
the positive surprise that this small but bustling country has rich heart in people and one thing you will see a lot of in Bangladesh, “it’s friendly people”. Most rural people come to the capital city in search of work that is more lucrative and secure than agriculture. A friendly hello …. The main greeting in
Bangladesh is the Muslim “ Asalaam Aleikum ” however Hindus use
Bangla is the language of Bangladesh and is largely the same as the Bengali usually spoken in India. The
major difference you will find is in levels of spoken English in Bangladesh , English is not widely spoken,
especially outside of cities, and announcements on anywhere at stations etc are not in English.
Try to use English with organization works and if you know bangla then its much better!
Younger people mostly students are more likely to speak English than the older generation. Most of the
things written in Bangla script like billboard , uber registration plates and even prices can be a bit of a
pain. If you can learn how the Bangla numbers look in advance you will be at an advantage!
Make sure to use sun cream while going out and find accommodations with fan or AC.
Bangladesh has a subtropical monsoon climate Characterized by wide seasonal variations in rainfall ,
moderately warm temperature , and high humidity. Most of the days grab my summer season which is
basically high temperature and 3 moths of winter are very cool and dry. December , January , February
The currency in Bangladesh is the Bangladeshi Taka. Officially it’s not available outside of Bangladesh, however there are exchange shops and bank that will be able to give you Taka in exchange for your money. Although beware of touts! If flying in, then get you Taka at the airport at an ATM or exchange counter. It’s easiest to change USD into Taka at exchange shops in Bangladesh. Not all ATM’s accept foreign cards, and there are reports of cards being frequently swallowed so check your card before pushing your card in slot. You can use Standard Chartered Bank ATM’s with your visa debit card and you
may find other banks to work great or ok.
Timings and weekends
Bangladesh is on GMT+6, making it 0.5 hour fast of india. The weekend is either one or two days depending on what job you do ( Govt job is valuable in Bangladesh) . Everyone has Friday off, and government , bank, some office workers also have Saturday off. Most of the organizations are here work for 5 days or 6 days in a week.
Offers of hospitality
For me at least it has to be its people. Lots of friendly attention , enqueries as to your family , if ladies travel with a man or solo its better to say you are married and offers of tea, lunch, dinner. Culturally, It’s important to Bangladeshis to be welcoming to guest so do not feel under pressure to accept dinner invitations unless they are repeated several times, although equally if you can spare a few minutes to have a tea (cha) with a new friend, it may make for one of your favorite memories.
Bangladesh has a Muslim majority, there is a sizable Hindu population throughout the country. There are also tribal communities in the Chittagong hill tracts, and has a growing number of immigrants from Myanmar especially since the current Rohingya crisis. In many parts of the country there is religious
conflict though in Bangladesh it remains good relation with communities and different religions.
It’s all about fish! Bengalis are passionate about their fish, Bangladesh is great for non-veg eaters. Enjoy of eating fish and green vegetables is much better and try to eat healthy foods Available foods are Briyani (chicken and egg) , fish curries , and for breakfast expect to enjoy yummy Bengali paratha with egg and vegetables (subji). For vegetarians (such as me) it’s little trickier if you eat
eggs then that helps. My staple is always dal boona ( the standard Bangladeshi dal to be very watery) , veggies, and of course with lots of rice. Bengali eat rice everyday in their regular daily food ( lunch and dinner) so you will get rice everywhere available. They have a name Bengali are in fish and rice cause
they always eat fish and rice as their favorite daily food and for some people tea is must in the morning and afternoon as their snacks. I enjoy tea everyday it has aroma . You should know one thing mostly tap water is not safe to drink unfortunately so you should boil and asking hot water but finding filtered
water it safe to drink
Avoid tight clothes and use light , tunic long sleeve or durable clothes.
The best clothing for women in Bangladesh is a salwar kameez, which is local Bangladeshi tunic, loose trousers, and a scarf which can be draped across your chest or over your head. Not only these made of cool fabric, but they are possibly the most comfortable thing to wear! And man can wear anything but
their local dress is lungi( loose more than trouser) they use it as a pant . Men can use pant , trouser , Tshirt , Punjabi, short pant whatever you feel to wear. For women covering hair and avoid any tight clothes and cleavage earns respect and decrease male attention. Bengalis traditional dress are for women it’s “Saree” and for men it’s “Punjabi”. Dressing respects the local culture as well as project yourself in the right way.
For you maybe the frustrating elements of travel around Bangladesh is travelling between different regions of the country all too often means stopping back in Dhaka. It is easy to go by train from North west to South West without going via Dhaka, Buses connect the divisions to Dhaka, but not commonly
to each other. You can check the train time in (Bangladesh railways website ) . You may heard about the Dhaka traffic so prepare yourself for two hours to cross town is nothing unusual. Because of it many buses are slow and uncomfortable as a way to travel.
Inequity is a serious problem in heath care system in Bangladesh mostly in government hospital so try to avoid the government hospital if you have enough money you can follow the private hospital as their system is good enough.
(Before going, you should identify your blood group and ensure a good hospital
where you can take treatment for any emergency)
Plan, Visa and Book :
You can get a Visa on Arrival for travelling for Bangladesh if you are travelling for tourism ( tourist visa )
and plan to stay less than 30 days.
Find up to date info on the ( Bangladesh visa on arrival here )
Make sure you take out good travel insurance. And Bangladesh is not the place for finding
accommodation after arriving in the evening in a new place so it’s better to book accommodation and
travel ahead plan for how to reach your destination safely.
Calling hotels directly to be the best way to book or search hotels in ( Bangladesh on
Booking.com ) here .
In general Bangladesh is a humid, warm country, and you’ll want light . Some organization unorganized or not standard they maintain but some are so good based on your experiences and on your skill. Anyone wants to work in Bangladesh cause it’s very natural places with tourist area and reliable friendly people but no one wants to settle here. If you work in a good organization, you’ll feel like a family.
DECIDING WHERE TO VOLUNTEER?
We see all too easily that volunteer doesn’t always have positive consequences, particularly in places that become swamped with organizations. It’s arguably places like Bangladesh that can be benefit most (right kind of organization ) bringing more connection and understanding from outside the world, and bringing skill sharing , new learning methods . economic benefits to communities that see a lot. In severe of Organization you can be volunteer but which one you should choose ?
Better Future Bangladesh! A government registered organization (3169) and becoming a rising NGO as well, which runs by the university students of BD and working for better tomorrow to achieve the goal SDG, it has already conducted several social service programs in different underprivileged areas in BD. It’s been four years we are working in Bangladesh.
We always utilize our time in Project making and skill development for youth. Our Co-workers and team member all are graduated or University students. You can create a warm connection and learn something new.