Sunday, March 20, 2011

Feedback from Volunteer Maja Ulbrich

One day in Autumn of 2010 I was reading an article in the Norwegian Newspaper abt the half a million streetchildren in Dhaka. This made a deep impression on me and I decided to go to Dhaka with the intension to be of any help. Consulting internet I read the blogs of volunteers who had been working at the Dhaka project. This encouraged me, inspite of my age of 76, to contact the Dhaka project. As soon as I got a positive answer from Dhaka I booked my flight with the intention to spend 3 months in Bangladesh. The only thing I knew abt Bangladesh was abt the yearly floods and catastrophes.- Upon arrival in Dhaka I was met by Palash Roy who took me to the Dhaka project where a welcome committee consisting of a big crowd of children was waiting holding up a sign with WELCOME MAJA ULBRICH. This realy melted my heart.- In the following days I was shown around to the different projects by Jewel, responsible for the volunteers. I stayed at the Guesthouse belonging to the project which was very convenient also with regard to the neighbourhood of the project.- I was asked where I preferred to stay, and for me there was no question. I choose the Playgroup, children between 3-4 years old. The teacher was Hosneara who had managed to teach these small children the whole English alphabet, they could count in English up to 30 and sing English rhymes/songs. They also had exercises in writing the alphabet and numbers. I was very impressed. The children were eager to learn and very enthusiastic. They were shown videos both for teaching purpose and enjoyment. There was also time for a dancing class so they could get rid of their abundant energy and expressing themselves individually. I enjoyed my time with Hosneara and the children immensely and grew very fond of everybody. I ended up sponsoring 3 children to whom I became very close, they just conquered my heart.
The evenings I spend joining the class with the women, mostly mothers of the children of the Dhaka project, most of them illiterate, but eager to learn English. I was impressed by their serious effort to learn English in order to improve their chances for a better job. I admired them not only for their ability to cope with their living condition, but also for their friendliness and hospitality. I learned a lot from them.
I liked the Dhaka project very much as it includes and takes care of the whole family. Children are selected according to their need and family condition as from one year and follow through the whole school system which is in accordance with the official school. The project comprises 470 children. Food is supplied to the families every week and the bright students are given a chance to study in Dubai.
The project is very well organized by the administration. I also want to mention Hamida who served lovely breakfast and lunch and the tailor teaching his skills and making my kameez.

I whole heartily support this project and certainly will return as I feel I got a family to look after.- A special thanks to Jewel who really is a jewel giving never ending service to the volunteers. I miss you all. With love Maja

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