ICS and local volunteers work together in Bangladesh to learn how to put vulnerable communities on the map. [photo: Carmen Sumadiwira/YCI] ICS and local volunteers work together in Bangladesh to learn how to put vulnerable communities on the map.

Y Care International has partnered with the Missing Maps Project – helping International Citizen Service (ICS) and local volunteers in Bangladesh to put vulnerable communities on the map.

For so long, the most crisis-prone parts of the world remained unmapped – meaning in the case of a natural disaster, conflict or sudden disease outbreak, the crucial support and medical supplies were delayed or unable to reach those who needed them most.

The Missing Maps project seeks to end this injustice by using the help of volunteers, working remotely and on the ground, to digitally map the most vulnerable places on Open Street Maps (OSM) so that they can be used by local people and organisations to properly respond to emergencies.

Now that our new ICS volunteers have arrived in Bangladesh we’re getting them to join in this crucial venture, which will even be used in their own work there – by being on the ground partnering with locals to map their communities.

This project is being piloted in two locations in Bangladesh where they will be mapping their communities with the help of OSM volunteers travelling from Dhaka.

On Sunday, as part of their welcome and orientation in Bangladesh, Carmen Sumadiwiria (a former Y Care International volunteer) along with the Humanitarian Open Street Maps Team, led a training session for our new ICS volunteers and the local YMCA on how to be a key part of the mapping.

Carmen Sumadiwiria said: “I’m absolutely thrilled that the Missing Maps is partnering up with Y Care International. As the Open Street Map community grows, it is important to build relationships across the globe and encourage the sharing of information. My big hope for this project is that it can be replicated in other countries and across different projects.”

The training taught volunteers not only how to use the digital mapping tool, Open Street Maps – which is free and open to use by anyone, but also what information to look out for when out working in the locations they will be mapping, such as hospitals and schools.

Now that they are equipped with the skills to map, our ICS volunteers are able to be part of the world’s largest digital volunteering experience and create the maps which will directly assist them as they work on projects with Bangaladesh YMCA.

If you’re 18 to 25 you could be involved in local YMCA projects like these through the International Citizen Service.

Apply today you could volunteer for a YMCA in Africa, Asia or Latin America this Autumn.

Discover the world, learn new skills and help fight poverty: www.ycareinternational.org/ics