Volunteer Teaching in Bangladesh
Coming to Bangladesh to volunteer puts you in positions to help people better their own lives as well as the communities in which you serve. All over Asia there are communities of people who are warm and welcoming but lack some of the advantages that we enjoy at home. Each country contains within it a wide variety of cultures, languages, and people. Each volunteer will experience a completely different culture depending on where they go. With so many options, it may be hard to choose which country to volunteer in, but know that regardless of where you decide to volunteer you will have opportunities to make lasting differences in the lives of less fortunate people.
The South Asian region contains many opportunities to help disadvantaged people. While the region is home to many upper class families and modern technologies, many in the region still suffer from the effects of extreme poverty. Bangladesh is a great example of how many groups can be left behind while a small number of people get richer and richer. Bangladesh has many chances for people from all over the world to come help make the people stronger and give them more opportunities in a society that all to often lets the poor fall through the cracks.
Among those in Bangladesh that have fallen through the cracks, children are some of the most vulnerable. In some areas of the country, many live in very poverty stricken neighborhoods. The lack of health services and education has created a desperate reality for many people. Schools in Bangladesh provide a great opportunity for volunteers to see firsthand the challenges facing the young people of Bangladesh and take part in having a positive impact the children’s lives. Volunteers work and play with the children as they live within the culture of Bangladesh. Your day-to-day life is with locals as you eat, work, sleep, and play.
Making a Difference
Volunteer teaching in Bangladesh is a great way to have a lasting impact on a child’s life while living in an exciting, vibrant culture. Each day, volunteers interact with local children and adults. Local volunteers work with the foreign volunteers in the classroom and on the playground. Volunteers often help teach English lessons to the children. This may seem like it wouldn’t make much of a difference but teaching a child English, however simple, can put them in a path for a better future. Even for the young children who are learning numbers and their ABC’s, having a teacher that gets them excited about English can put their life on track to get a better education or a better job. This also gives them an opportunity to help their own families and communities.
Education is one of the challenges that the people of Bangladesh face everyday. We know that a more educated society makes for a more prosperous society. While things have gotten better within the country, it still has a long way to go. Volunteers take on the roll of providing assistance in subjects that locals can’t teach as well as native English speakers can. Also the volunteers may also teach subjects like math or science, so any volunteer can teach something they are passionate about. Even the smallest interactions with children in a school can have a meaningful impact on their life. Not just in the classroom but also on the playground, volunteers get to play with the children and just have fun. A lot of the time all these children need is a smile and someone to show them some love.
Children in Bangladesh face difficulties that young people in modern countries simply do not have to deal with. Hunger is not uncommon here. Children may live in poor communities with dilapidated houses. As a volunteer, you must look past all these things so that you can have a positive impact on the child’s life. It may be hard for some to see the realities these children face. But it’s important to keep in mind that volunteers are here to help these children and add joy to their lives.
While volunteering, accommodations may lack some modern amenities. We make sure that all accommodations are safe but some communities may lack a strong internet connection or other conveniences, especially in rural communities. Volunteers may have to give up a few comforts from home so that they can access and, moreover, relate to the local population. Remember many in the west come from countries that are much better off than Bangladesh.
English is not universally understood in Bangladesh. Most people speak Bengali and overcoming the language barrier is something that volunteers must do while working in Bangladesh. While at first you may find it difficult to get what you need at first, picking up a little bit of the language is easy and can help out tremendously. Volunteers are also surprised how much they can achieve while teaching in a classroom even though many don’t speak much English very well.
Many western food options are hard to find in Bangladesh and volunteers may have to be adventurous eaters during their time working in the country. Many volunteers forget about western food quickly with all of the delicious local food to be found in the country. Local cuisine is cheap and flavorful. Much of the food has been influenced by India to the west and Myanmar to the east, making it packed full of flavor. And vegetarians need not fear. There are plenty of tasty vegetarian options to choose from while volunteering in Bangladesh.
Despite the many challenges that come from teaching in Bangladesh, volunteers are rewarded greatly from the experiences they gain. Putting yourself in another culture forces you to see other ways of life. Our cultures differ greatly, but many who work and live in cultures other than their own begin to see that people all over the world are more similar than we are different.
Volunteer teaching gives volunteers experiences that they may never have at any time in their lives. Children are the future of a country. Having positive influences on children anywhere in the world makes a difference. But in the more disadvantages places in the world it’s all the more important. The children of Bangladesh have fewer opportunities than we did growing in growing up in developed nations. Even the smallest act of kindness or piece of knowledge we can give to them goes a long way.
Local children aren’t the only ones who benefit from volunteers in Bangladesh. Local see volunteers come not with a camera but with the desire to help. They see that there are people in other parts of the world who do care about their country and fellow countrymen. Local volunteers work hand in hand with you as you help them better their own communities. And the volunteers themselves will take home experiences and memories that will change the way they look at others in their own communities. The relationships volunteers make while working in Bangladesh will inspire them to take to the streets of their own communities. Volunteer teaching in Bangladesh empowers everyone involved: the students, the locals, and the volunteers themselves.