When we first arrived in Bangladesh, we visited a camp in Adamjee where OBAT has not yet done any work. I was extremely disheartened to see the state in which people were living. Seeing all this made me feel overwhelmed, the situation was so bad and I felt as if it would be impossible to help resolve such an extreme situation. But in the following days, we visited other camps in the area where OBAT has helped establish schools, vocational centers, clinics as well as access to clean water and proper sewage systems. The difference was extremely motivating. Despite still living in these difficult conditions, the children in particular showed a huge amount of promise. Being able to attend proper schools will not only allow them to get educated and find good jobs, but also brings about a very important change in attitude. They are taking on initiatives to clean up their camps and help those who are even less fortunate than them. They are becoming better integrated into the greater society and will not allow themselves to be marginalized and live in these conditions for much longer. All of this made me realize that no matter how small of an effort we make, it can make an incredible difference in people’s lives. Despite the short amount of time and limited resources, the effect of OBAT's efforts is apparent and will change the generations to come. We heard many stories from orphans and widows that made me feel truly grateful for what we have been blessed with here in Canada. As difficult as it was to hear some of these heart wrenching cases, it was also amazing to see the resolve and determination of these people. Despite all that they have faced, they still have a positive outlook on life and are extremely thankful to those who are trying to help them. We met a successful local businessman who is also very involved in philanthropic activities, and he said something that has stuck with me: Helping others with the excess wealth that we have been blessed with should not be considered charity - it is our obligation. Those less fortunate than us are entitled to this wealth more than we are. I was extremely impressed with the work that OBAT has done, and would like to thank Anwar Uncle and the entire OBAT team for their tremendous efforts.
OBAT is amazing. We did a Iftar together that me and my friend organized. It had a good turn out. They learn and teach people of different religions and beliefs and beings people together. I would love to do more work with them.
It was through Obat Helpers Inc. staff, Professor John Clark and Saima Hassan, Director of Development and Communications that I learned about the plight of thousands of stateless people stranded in refugee camps in Bangladesh. I was impressed about how geared up they were when I was informed of the efforts being put to address the living conditions, education and economic empowerment of these populations.
I moved to Indianapolis from Texas and the second charity that I heard of, right behind the hugely funded Reconnecting to Our Waterways, was the much smaller Obat Helpers. Professor John Clark, Saima Hassan and the Obat folks began publicizing the plight of Muslim on Muslim violence in Bangladesh and suddenly, wham!, Bangladesh was in the news for gruesome machete attacks by one outlying Mulslim groups against blogging Muslims, secular Muslims and marginalized Muslims and basically any differing Muslims. Obat not only predicted this type of violence and this type of victim, but was already in Bangladesh trying to alleviate it. Bravo!
For the past few months I have been consulting with OBAT and Saima Hassan, Director of Development & Comms. Working with Saima has been a pleasure-filled experience as she is very charismatic, organized, poised, and determined. OBAT is in great hands and will continue to do amazing things under the leadership and guidance of Saima and her staff.
I had the privilege of interning for OBAT Helpers this past summer as their Social Media/Public Relations intern. This experience gave me valuable insight into the situation of stranded Pakistanis in Bangladesh. The mission of OBAT is pure in heart and their impact in the camps is measurable. With the efforts of OBAT and its donors, the camp dwellers should reach self - sufficiency within the upcoming decade. OBAT not only benefits the community as a whole, but has initiatives directed at empowering women and engaging youth. They created OBAT Media Productions, a project ran by youths living in the camps, as well as Think Tank in which camp youth take responsibility for improving their communities. OBAT and its staff are highly competent and trustworthy and are making a remarkable difference in the lives of many.
I have been in touch with OBAT helpers for over 10 years. Recently they arranged a seminar in Dallas in which a few other distinguished US citizens like Dr. John Clark and Dr. Maureen Lynch, Dr. Pail and Dr. Ayaz Malik gave an eye witness account of their visit to the camps in Bangladesh. They all confirmed that OBAT helpers are doing an extraordinary job for the welfare of people in the camps.
OBAT is a very transparent organization that allows a donor to know where the money is going, where the effort is being placed, where the work is being done. The staff is effective and easy to communicate with regarding any questions or concerns. Happy to have been a volunteer!
OBAT Helpers is a great organization to be a part of as a volunteer and donor. The initiatives that they have started to empower the people in the camps have made a tremendous difference in many lives and will continue to do so in the future. The staff and volunteers are helpful and show pride in being a part of OBAT.
OBAT Helpers takes a uniquely innovative path to addressing the marginalized Urdu-speaking population living in Bangladesh. Deeply introspective, OBAT internally addresses the needs of this population in order to reestablish the basic necessities. Looking forward to see this population flourish and to see OBAT grow as an organization. Keep up the good work!
I worked with OBAT helpers in January and was remarkably impressed by the variety and depth of their programs.
What was most impressive for me was how OBAT Helpers took advantage of opportunities as they arose, making sure every resource was used to its maximum benefit.