LIVING AT CRP

Accommodation:

Comfortable basic guesthouse style accommodation is available on the CRP campus for both short term and long term volunteers. Guesthouse common areas are great for relaxing after the working day and for socialising with other international volunteers. Cooking and cleaning services are provided by friendly guesthouse management staff.

Short term volunteer accommodation: includes individual and double rooms with private and shared bathrooms.

Long term volunteer accommodation: includes double beds, study desk, spacious living area and ensuite bathroom.

Room rates: rooms range between Tk. 100-200 per night and Tk.700 and Tk.1400 per week.

Guesthouse facilities:

Lunch and dinners cooked daily (except Fridays) for Tk. 60 per meal
Cooking facilities (e.g. gas stove, utensils, oven)
Refrigeration
Cleaning of shared bathrooms and common areas provided
Laundry and ironing facilities
Cable television with English speaking news
Ceiling fans
Mosquito nets and wire mesh over all windows
Boiled and filtered water
Rooms not in use may be rented out to visitors at CRP as a source of income generation. Therefore, if you are leaving CRP for several days, please tell the office to avoid any temporary removal of your belongings.

Other facilities:

Hot meals are available at the staff and student canteen
CRP campus shop/cafe with snacks, bottled water and coffee etc.
Library, printing, computer and Wi-Fi internet facilities
Local market stocking fresh fruit and vegetables

Communication:

There is one computer available for use by volunteers but this computer is also used by other CRP staff members.  If you feel you will need regular computer and internet access, it is advised that you bring your own laptop.
Bringing a laptop is useful as WiFi is available at the main reception and portable modems are easily purchased in Savar.
There is an email facility for incoming emails. CRP's e-mail address for volunteers is volunteers@crp-bangladesh.org
It is advised that volunteers bring an unlocked mobile phone as local sim cards can be purchased in Savar. There is a telephone at the main reception available during office hours only.
Top-up credit for mobile phones and internet modems is available at the CRP main gate.

Office Hours:

CRP Administration and Hospital and BHPI: 8:00 am – 1:00 pm and 2:00 pm – 5:00 pm Saturday to Wednesday, and 8:00 am – 1:30 pm on Thursday. 
Friday is the weekly holiday. Volunteers are expected to work 5 ½ days per week and to sign in and out at the appropriate times.

 

Personal safety:

Generally speaking, Bangladesh is a safe country for foreigners to visit. Most visitors leave feeling touched by the warmth and hospitality of the Bangladeshi people. Incidents can occur with complacency, however, so the following recommendations are advisable:

Riding rickshaws- using rickshaws is very much part of the culture of Bangladesh but there are some dangers to be aware of when using the rickshaws.
Girls- you will be expected to wear an “ona” – the scarf worn with a salwar kameez- and this can sometimes get caught in the wheels of rickshaws and CNGs so make sure you keep hold of the ends.
Bags- if you can have a small bag that you can put between you and the other rider or can be easily put out of sight and also take the strap of the bag from over you when sitting on the rickshaw, as it is better that the person takes your bag and belongings and does not take you with them.  It is a well known ‘’trick’’ of thieves to drive alongside rickshaws and to grab bags from peoples laps.  It is essential to be especially cautious around the time of EID, as according to locals, incidents increase around this time.
Money and valuables - It is a good idea to wear a money belt when you are out and about.  Do not take anything out with you that you do not need, such as credit/debit cards, as you can lock your room at The Guesthouse and there are always guards on duty.   There is also an ATM on the CRP site, which you should be able to use.

Road Safety- The roads in Bangladesh are very busy and there are limited pavements for pedestrians.  Although there are some rules of the roads, these are not often adhered to.  Try and use footbridges as much as possible to cross roads, try to walk into the direction of the traffic if you have to walk on the side of the road.  Avoid taxis that are in a poor state; choose one that looks well cared for.
   
Going out after dark- It gets dark in Bangladesh relatively early- around 5.30-6pm and the incidents of thefts, according to locals, increase around 7-8pm;  a time when lots of people will be returning home from work.  There is limited street lighting available and so it is wise to take a torch with you when going out at this time and to also stick to areas with shops and good lighting.  Avoid travelling alone.  It would also be good not to take pictures outside during the dark, as this highlights to others that you have a camera.   Also try to avoid having expensive items on show, for example using a tablet/smartphone in public.
    
Emergency Contacts- It may also be useful to write down on a piece of paper who you would like to be contacted in an emergency and to tell other volunteers where this is. Register with your Embassy or High Commission in Dhaka as soon as possible.
   
Outside CRP- Avoid protests or large gatherings when outside CRP as they can become violent, these are known as Hartels. Keep CRP informed of any movements/visits away from Savar.
   
Before Arrival- Consult travel advice from your government websites and consult CRP for up to date security information.
      
CRP will happily provide transport for groups of volunteers wishing to go for an evening meal, day trips and to see other CRP sites.   Please speak to the volunteer co-ordinator to arrange this.

While CRP recognises that such incidents can happen in any country, it is responsible for the safety of volunteers working at the Centre. However, CRP management cannot take responsibility for anything which may happen to those who refuse to take this advice.