Committed to Inspire Change through Volunteerism
In the words of Gandhi, “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” To recognize that every action can be a way for people to leave behind a positive impact is admirable and one such instance came about recently. On Sunday 16 September 2018, amidst the bustling bodies, enveloped by the orchestral clamor of the megaphone booming with announcements, people chattering, and horns honking, specks of white-clad shirts could be seen striding down the narrow path of Sadek Khan Road. All the while being encompassed by the curious stares of the locals, the ‘Crew in White’ made their way to the stark yellow gate of JAAGO’s Rayer Bazar School.
The children, big-eyed and peeking through their classrooms, watched the group roaming down the corridors of the school and even snuck out of their classes to find out who these figures were. It was not long before their curiosity turned to elation at the announcement that the country management team of Standard Chartered Bank had come to visit the JAAGO Rayer Bazar School, led by their Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Naser Ezaz Bijoy. Children from elementary grade were excited to please the guests with their melodic voices, as they recited rhymes and limericks.
While visiting each class, the group from Standard Chartered got a glimpse of how JAAGO was using everyday items, such as rice and lentils, for educational purposes. Furthermore, they were delighted to meet the first graduate of JAAGO, Lelin, and hear about his journey with JAAGO. Not long after, the team entered the computer lab, where the students from Grade 9 were exhibiting the robot they had created using Lego and how it operated using coding as a part of their Robotics workshop. After observing the work, to the amazement of the students, the crew of Standard Chartered’s 12 senior leaders began engaging in the activity with them.
It was truly an enlightening afternoon for the JAAGO children as the team from Standard Chartered immersed in insightful discussions with them. The children were visibly moved to find Mr. Naser Ezaz Bijoy, the Chief Executive Officer of Standard Chartered Bank, sitting with them on the floor of the lab as he imparted knowledge on financial literacy and banking, inspiring a number of them to consider a career in banking. At the same time, he addressed the importance of goodness in character for an individual to gain true success in life.
The Standard Chartered team divided into groups of two and teamed up with the children from Grade 6 & 7 to participate in the trivia session and the zeal with which the teams competed reflected how volunteerism did not have an age.
Every year, Standard Chartered Bank engages in employee volunteerism where they actively encourage their employees to take time off work and volunteer in the community, echoing the company’s creed of ‘Here for Good’. Standard Chartered Bank has been a dedicated supporter of JAAGO from its early years. They have supported in the construction of the computer lab of JAAGO’s Rayer Bazar School, hosted eye-check-ups at the school and continues to engage in creative activities with the children every year. However, this year’s volunteerism was most impactful for the children as they returned home wiser and more hopeful. JAAGO is grateful to Ms. Bitopi Das Chowdhury, Head of Corporate Affairs, Branding & Marketing, Standard Chartered Bangladesh, who had always supported JAAGO in a number of its endeavors and had facilitated such an uplifting event at JAAGO’s Rayer Bazar school.
Ms. Chowdhury expressed: “We are always enthused to interact with the children at JAAGO and hear about their dreams for a better future. I honestly believe that we take away more from these visits than the children, and the rewards of these experiences are extremely gratifying.”