Making a difference through volunteering

Shankita Sarkar is a volunteer for Oxfam's partner organization, Rupantar. She talked to us about her work responding to the cyclone.

I became a volunteer for Oxfam's partner, Rupantar, in Bagerhat District, southern Bangladesh, because they needed people to assist the Sidr cyclone-affected communities. I wanted to play my part to help people stand up on their own feet. I also lost my house and all other belongings in the cyclone. We stay at a relative's place. My role as a volunteer helps me earn a little money and helps support my parents and siblings.

I, along with the other volunteers, received training from on how to purify water by using PURE powder so that it is safe for drinking. We distributed buckets to families and did an assessment to identify people for the cash-for-work program.

People need food, clean water, and proper shelter urgently. It will start getting very cold soon and people need a place to stay to keep warm. I want to continue working with Rupantar and Oxfam so that I can play an active role in providing people with what they need the most.

The most satisfying part about working as a volunteer for Rupantar is hearing the community say that they are happy with our work and what a difference we are making to their lives.

My message to people is that nobody should sit idle. Everyone can have an opportunity to work if they want. No one should just depend on relief. They can help themselves out of this situation.