Thursday, May 1, 2008


Volunteers are good willing people with a heart as big as the the whole world!
They come and go, they pay expensive travel tickets, they pay all the expenses (really all), they lend their skills, they suffer their emotions and pour their sweat working in the action field, in Gawair or around struggling with the hard life of trading, most of them arrive carrying huge suitcases to bring essential clothes do dress the kids in the Project, or toys that make the wonders of our children and most of the times, after supporting the huge costs during the overall stay period they still leave a donation to the kids under our wings.
Not even talk about some risks due to the conditions they face in Dhaka that demand an extreme awareness specially when drinking or eating in some places around other than in The Dhaka Project premises or about the loads of vaccines a volunteer needs to turn up safely...
For all the exposed above, when we wander on the price a volunteer should be paid we easily conclude: NOTHING! Because volunteers are such a valuable asset that there is no money enough to pay for all their value, we don't pay for volunteers because they are simply PRICELESS!

And because they are priceless all of us at the Project feel a special and true esteem for them and the same consideration should be felt by all government institutional chain; they should be faced as people who come to help the Bangladeshi people to get out of a life in extreme poverty and to whom all Bangladeshi people should make the life easy, specially official staff authorities in or out of Bangladesh, when they try to get a visa .

Unfortunately, that did not happen with a volunteer who was trying to get a visa somewhere abroad!

After we have sent him the invitation letter as well as our Certificate of Incorporation with RSF he went to the embassy and the officer there argued that he needed an approval from the 'NGO Bureau' in Dhaka authorizing a visa for 3 months (as he wished) arguing yet that RSF should know about it and would be able to get that authorization for him, not even being able to inform our volunteer about the address of the NGO Bureau in Dhaka.

It seems that all has been done to stop the volunteer to come along and help us instead of appealing him to come quickly and making things very easy to him...
And they returned his passport denying him the visa!!!

And they not even considered the possibility of acquiring a tourist visa. It seemed that he had been included in a black list... with no explanations on what reason caused their decision of refusing the visa except for a bare indication of ''NGO work'' in the application form, or other kind of evasive excuses.

He just wanted to pay for a visa and come help people in Bangladesh; volunteers don't come to Bangladesh on pleasant holidays, they come to work and give us some help, giving their knowledge, their skills, their tenderness to the children and working more than 15 hours on most days!

Such a procedure by the time when we desperately need volunteers is disappointing!

Does it mean that the country authorities don't agree with us when we say that volunteers are priceless and their presence is fundamental to develop these former hopeless children under our care,... those children rescued from the shameful slums around and in Dhaka?

But after struggling for a while and deciding to go for his visa in another city in the same country, our volunteer finally managed to get a visa for only 2 months but said possible to be extended...
It cost only 84 % relatively to the price showed in the first embassy...

It's not too much, (once the rules are 'who entries in the country should pay for a visa'), to ask the authorities to make life easy for volunteers acquiring their visas out, and take measures to inform the staff abroad about waht is really mandatory to get a visa.

Finally let us complete the whole truth; volunteers also are highly rewarded. Rewarded by the smiles on the faces of the children, by hundreds of hugs come from the small hearts and the friendliness showed by all, the staff, the kids and families at The Dhaka Project.

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