Etihad’s I Volunteers: Changing Lives One Volunteer At a Time

This April brought with it a delightful collaboration between C2C and Etihad’s New CSR Initiative ‘I Volunteer’- a program launched by Etihad which encourages staff to get engaged in giving back to the community. In addition to providing 10 tickets on a bi-monthly basis and five enthusiastic volunteers, the support extended by Etihad helped carry a whopping 200 kilos of extra baggage on board to transport donations to Dhaka. Translating that, the extra baggage allowance helped carry, among other things, 150 kilos of milk powder, which takes care of milk supply worth two whole months for the kids’ breakfast. The support from Etihad came through emotional and physical support as well; five members of staff from Etihad’s ‘I Volunteer’ joined the dedicated C2C team, which includes directors Mo Loch, Eva Kernova and Sunil Baroi, taking part in class activities alongside the children with full fervor. Volunteer 1 was touched when she had an insider’s look at the circumstances these children live in, “You hear about slums with poor living conditions, but you never really understand the implications until you see the place – Visiting the school and having conversations with the children gives you a whole new perspective.” The volunteers accompanied the staff and students of C2C to their field trip to National Park at Gazipur, chiming in the fun with games like black shoes and limbo. Volunteer 2 says of the experience “It was like being a child again, spending time with the kids. Considering the hardships of their families, it’s heartwarming to see the kids’ innocent excitement, running around. It makes you grateful.” Besides the fun and games, they really got to know the children. The volunteers had one-on-one conversations with the kids when they visited the Maria Theresa Foundation, talking to them about their aspirations for the future. Volunteer 3 smiled wide as she took pictures of kids, “We need to keep pushing these kids to dream bigger, and then keep pushing ourselves to work and help them realize those dreams. It’s amazing to see that all the kids I spoke to want to help their community when they grow up.”