Volunteering as a meeting of cultures and possibility for exchange is at the heart of the Mati philosophy. Only if we Westerners see how our actions directly have an effect, positive or negative, on the millions of voiceless and faceless poor, only then can we make conscious choices how we want to live our lives back home. Volunteering is always a very rewarding experience, and can be even more so in a developing and ever changing environment like Bangladesh, where poverty is even defined on different levels. Reading reports, statistics or contributing financially can never substitute for experience in the field.
“Volunteers are non-paid not because they are worthless, it’s because they are priceless”
Volunteering is both giving and receiving – your skills will surely benefit the local community, but you will also have the unique opportunity to gain an insight and to participate in the rich culture of Bangladeshi life and experience the unique sense of community, at the core of this country.
MATI Bangladesh offers placements all year round and applications are invited from all nationalities, abilities, gender and life phases (minimum age 18 – no maximum age) thus a mixed and diverse community can evolve and develop together. With work ongoing in a variety of self-developmental projects there is sure to be an area, where your personal skills can be put to good use. A volunteer does not substitute a local paid worker, s/he is rather giving new input, fresh impulses, and assists the locals in developing their capacities to their full potential.
Information for long-term volunteers (2 – 12 months) can be found below. Professionals who only have a limited time of vacation time, can also apply for shorter stays.
Administrative procedures tend to be rather slow in Bangladesh, and therefore we suggest that you submit your application well in advance ( at least 5 months), so that all necessary paperwork can be solved without hassle, and you can prepare yourself well.
- have the ability to work under varying social and environmental conditions, which might be stressful for you.
- Be aware of ecological issues and show an environment-friendly attitude (saving of energy and waste reduction should not be unknown principles to you)
- Be non-smokers or prepared not to smoke at the project sites
- Respect the mainly Muslim codes of behaviour and dress code
- Be prepared to work within heavily populated areas with limited personal space.
- Be prepared to work independently
- Observe with kind eyes and preserve your judgment for later
- Be prepared to do whatever is needed
- Always expect the unexpected!
- Have a basic knowledge of English language
- Work together mainly with the Bangladeshi staff, despite the language barrier and despite the fact that there is a German project management on site
- be prepared to integrate yourself into an existing community and working philosophy and do not expect people and the project to adapt to you.
In accordance with your skills and experience, you can help Mati in the following areas:
- share lessons at the Mati Primary School
- English lessons for Mati staff members
- participate in creative workshops for community children/ young adults
- engage in the Mati Play Group
- assist with field research and data collection for projects
- data entry into SPSS database
- write reports on individual family development
- internet research on funding possibilities
- help prepare awareness activities in local schools
- assist our paramedics (if you have a medicinal background)
- any other field where you have specific knowledge which can be useful in Mati’s context
Your time with us will be spent supporting Mati team members and on some occasions, you will have the opportunity to help develop new initiatives. We believe that volunteering is such a unique experience because you are not ‘paid’ to care – your care is given freely and from the heart, thus eliminating the barrier that can sometimes exist, when a salary is taken for the ‘care’ work given.
How to apply:
Send the following via email to info(at)matibangladesh.org
- Letter of motivation (as personal as possible)
- Mention references with contact details if available
- Completed application form (link below)
Applications can be made in English, German and Bangla.
Would you like to know how volunteers before you experienced their stay with Mati? Then read on…