A city with a metropolitan are of only 17 million people. An intense place to visit when coming off the plane from a long trip from a developed western nation in Europe or North America. Being such a big place, so many people, and so much going on. There’s a lot to see, hear, smell (or try not to smell sometimes), taste and most importantly… contribute.
Dhaka’s and Bangladesh’s Development
The International Monetary Fund (at the time of writing this page) lists Bangladesh just under Sudan as GDP per capita. In such a huge city (twice the population of Bangkok or New York), our volunteers will rarely find examples of wealth and privilege. We are not going to lie or sugar coat it for interested applicants. Bangladesh and Dhaka (especially) is a very underdeveloped place. The need for development – obvious. Although a difficult place to be and visit, one will quickly see where they can provide assistance, and help.
There are a lot of different groups in Dhaka and Bangladesh, and countless areas where the big hearted western visitor can make real change and touch the hearts of the local people.
The People and Make up of Dhaka
The diverse make up of people, religion and beliefs in Dhaka is similar to that of any large city or nation – impossible to describe in a few sentences. However, one can clearly state that there is a strong Muslim influence, along with groups of every minority group that one can imagine, whether it be Christian, Buddhist, western visitor, etc. This diverse make up of people and cultures can be confusing at first, but only adds to the color and experience of the volunteer.
Although there are many water ways through the city, the Buriganga River on the eastern side of the city is the main artery of fresh water coming down from the north. A large part of the city sits on the Ganges Delta, which flows down south to the sea. Water is a big issue in Dhaka. Whether it be clean drinking water, or the proper disposal of waste water, these are all hot issues for the residents of the ancient city. Challenges within how to provide for such resources in many of Dhaka’s huge slums are a major area in which both local government and local NGOs are trying to develop.
Volunteer in Bangladesh!
Considering that Dhaka is the capital of Bangladesh, it holds the inner-workings of the nation’s government, NGOs, and any group that is working towards development and change in the country. As many of our volunteers and interns may visit the restaurants and bars that are popular with tourists and the elite of Bangladesh, it’s important to know that the majority of the nation does not live in such a fashion.
Although not one’s normal family getaway, Bangladesh and Dhaka provide a very different and unique place to see what real world Asia and the developing world offers. In addition to this, the warmth of the people of Bangladesh will provide any volunteer with an open heart an opportunity to connect with the real people of Bangladesh that are teachers, workers at NGOs, orphanages, etc. There are a lot of ways to travel and to see a nation and its people. When it comes to Bangladesh and Dhaka, we recommend any individual with the time and heat to contribute to spend some time, volunteer, assist the locals with their developments, while also taking a true cultural experience with them.
Getting to Bangladesh
There are many different airlines that offer service to Bangladesh. Upon arrival at the Dhaka International Airport, our coordinating staff will assist all volunteers and interns in transport to our volunteer accommodation and a comfortable spot for all to prep for their important volunteer work ahead.