Bangladesh: it’s the mysterious country where most of the clothes that are hanging in my wardrobe were made. Yet, I don’t know anyone who has been there. We know the name but to most of us Bangladesh is very unknown.
Luckily I will be one of the people who does get the chance to get to know this country! The IKEA Foundation called me to ask if I wanted to join an IWitness trip to Bangladesh to visit some of the projects that Save the Children has implemented which are supported by IKEA’s Soft Toys for Education campaign. I was immediately excited and my mind started to work overtime since we would be leaving in a month.
What do I actually know about Bangladesh? My first thought is that it is the complete opposite of my own country, the Netherlands. Tropical climate, spicy food but also a lot of poverty and natural disasters that seem to happen on a regular basis. It will be a total culture shock! But maybe things are not so different after all. There will also be things that the Bangladeshi people and I have in common, the dreams that we share or hopes and fears that we have.
I am very much looking forward to going to Bangladesh. And more importantly, seeing and hearing how Save the Children’s projects are creating a better future for children. I cannot wait to talk to the children, to hear stories that you normally wouldn’t hear when travelling to a country as a tourist, to listen to the strange sounds and to smell the strange smells. To get to know a little bit of the great unknown.