Mr. Davide volunteered at Alingan Foundation from July 1st to July 25th. He flew to Dhaka on vacation and planned to help out at teaching centers and events that are aimed towards helping the deprived and underprivileged children of the Bangladeshi society. He is a resident of Sicily, Italy and a teacher of Hotel Management by profession who also has a big heart for helping out the poor in the poorest countries of the world.
Davide arrived in Dhaka on the last week of June, 2017. He found out about Alingan foundation’s volunteering options through project's website. Upon informing the staffs of the foundation beforehand, Davide was greeted heartily by the children on his arrival in the first day. The children were delighted to find new company at the project and were excited and curious to see Davide. All they could wonder about was what they will learn from our friend about his culture and his country. The children prepared a poster for him with pictures of pizza and the Italian flag, the only thing the children knew about Italian culture. Davide was overjoyed to be gifted with such a simple, yet witty present from the kids. On the first day, Davide also brought chocolates for the children which they were very happy to receive from our friend.
Davide helped out regularly at the project by aiding the instructors in helping the children with their homework. Many children are sent off to work by their parents when they go home, so when they come to Alingan it is easier for them to finish their homework. More children were excited to come now that Davide was teaching English every week and also sharing about his culture. He kindly donated stationaries for the children, pens and pencils of different colors and styles. The children loved his teachings and presents. On one occasion Davide brought bread a Nutella, a classic Italian snack for school children. The kids had a blast as they indulged in the experience of having an Italian snack for the first time in their lives. Davide mainly taught English but on occasions he also taught the children a few Italian words and recorded them on video to send their wishes to his friends and family back in Italy. The children learnt a great deal about technology from Davide as he used to take pictures of the children with his phone. The children would look at awe at how fast sharing files is. They were blown away by the fact that you could take a picture in Bangladesh and it could be sent to Italy in seconds. During lessons, it was not only
Davide teaching the children English, but the children were also teaching him Bengali words from their school books. Everyone learnt a little bit from each other!
It was finally time to say farewell to Davide on the 25th of July. The kids were not happy to see our Italian friend go. They would certainly love for Davide to stay much longer and teach them all about his culture. For one last time, Davide read a story book to the children. It was the book “A chair for Baby Bear”. The children sat around him eagerly, and were mesmerized by the story as Ms. Lopa, who is a volunteer at Alingan, translated the story for the children. After the reading session it was the children’s turn to present something to Davide. The children prepared dances, songs, poems and plays to present to Davide on his final day at Alingan. It was a new experience for Davide to be exposed to so much Bengali culture at once. One by one the kids presented their craft to Davide. He really enjoyed the performances. Davide also brought snacks for the children on his last day to the project. Cakes, biscuits and cola were distributed among the children. It was a great experience of giving and sharing between our friend and the kids.
Finally, it was time for the children to bid farewell to Davide. They prepared a letter and a poster saying goodbye to Davide. The kids asked the instructors beforehand to translate their goodbye message in Italian, a true mark of influence left into the hearts of the children by Davide, which made the farewell of our Italian friend heartfelt and memorable. Davide plans on visiting Bangladesh again next year, and the kids look forward to meeting him again and strengthen their intercultural bonds.