Obat Helpers Inc
Rating: 4.81 stars 36 36 reviews 2,753
International, Economic Development
1100 W. 42nd St Ste. 125 A Indianapolis IN 46208 USA
Our mission is to work for the welfare, support and rehabilitation of indigent, stateless and displaced people. The primary focus is to alleviate the suffering of thousands of stateless people stranded in refugee camps in Bangladesh. Our goal is to provide them with better living conditions, education and economic empowerment.
the Urdu speaking community also known as stranded Pakistanis perishing in slum like camps since 42 years,
Geographic areas served:
7 schools 4 tutoring centers 4 computer training centers 2 health clinics; 1 mobile health clinic A microfinance program Vocational centers- 2 sewing training centers Community projects such as building of latrines, drains and sewers Construction of tubewells for clean drinking water-6 tubewells
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Reviews for Obat Helpers Inc
3 people found this review helpful
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.
I visited one camp and one school in Dhaka and two camps and one school in Syedpur in July this year where OBAT is working and trying to bring a positive change to the people who really need external support for a better living.
20 years back when I was a college student, I was very frequent near the market camp in Mohammadpur, Dhaka. I have seen the sufferings of the camp dwellers back then. Now I am really happy to see the changes that OBAT has bought to them. It is not adequate and a lot of work need to be done but I have seen hope in the eyes of the people specially the children. I met with the students and alumni of the OBAT English School in Dhaka, talked to them for hours, interviewed them and noticed the confidence that they have now which was not there before. OBAT helped to build this confidence by providing education and financial support to the deserving students.
I also met with the OBAT Think Tank – the youth group from the camp who are determined to bring change in their life. They took this opportunity to nurture their communications and leadership skills by engaging in volunteer activities inside the camps.
I went to the market camp and interviewed one women who is a beneficiary of OBAT Helpers. I have seen the clean water facility and the drainage system built by OBAT inside the camp.
My visit to Bashbari camp and Munshipara camp in Syedpur were exciting too. In Bashbari camp, OBAT established a Sewing Training Center, Computer Training Center and a Tutorial Center. It was surprising to see the number of women from nearby camps who came to learn sewing and basic computer operating so that they can work or find a job to support their families.
My last destination was Munshipara Camp where I attended a weekly collection meeting where OBAT’s microfinance beneficiaries and staff met to collect the weekly installments of the small business loan.
I interviewed a couple of people who took small business loans and started their business. They paid back timely and took a bigger loan to expand their business which is really inspiring. I have seen the eagerness among families to be financially solvent and get out from the camp to live a better life. They are grateful to OBAT for helping them to become integrated into the mainstream.
OBAT has surely made an impact with its limited resources in these camps but still a long way to go. I hope that OBAT would be able to increase its footprint in all the camps in Bangladesh soon. I would like to thank from the bottom of my heart the OBAT team here in Indiana and the team who are working hard in the camps in Bangladesh.
Very few organizations have the sort of cross-generational impact that OBAT Helpers has had. From the young volunteers who gather to help with events and mailings to entire communities who sponsor schools, clinics, and other projects - OBAT has inspired countless individuals around the world. The staff, volunteers, and donors perfectly embody the organization's mission of empowerment.
While the population living in the camps have lived without basic means and necessities for decades, I have personally witnessed their true hope and trust in OBAT Helpers as the organization begins to slowly transform the quality of life for thousands.
If you are looking for an organization to support, volunteer with, or work for - you will not regret your contributions for even a moment!
I was honored to be on a team, that visited the camps in Bangladesh last year. The trip was an emotional rollarcoaster. Witnessing the legacy of the IDP camps and the psychological and physical toll on 3 generations, growing up in a 8x8 brick room, left me very perplexed.
I had the opportunity to personally visit a lot of the initiatives run and managed by the wonderful staff of Obat Helpers in Bangladesh, a team of dedicated and driven people working towards the betterment of their community, working day in and day out. It was amazing to be in the middle of such inspiring individuals.
The dedication to their work was evident on the faces of the people they help everyday. Watching and hearing mothers, express their desires to educate themselves, so they could help their kids with their homework, was so unbelievable to hear and a true testament to the empowerment evident due to all the hard work of Obat Helpers.
Obat Helpers is doing a fantastic job in helping out the poor in different camps in Bangladesh. I had a chance to evaluate several programs Obat is running, including education. I can say that there is no other NGO that has done the level of work in education and other vocational programs as Obat.
This organization doing the job that is completely for gottten by world.
I had the honor of working with about 40 young people who are participating in a think-tank run by Obat Helpers in the Fall of 2014. I was blown away by their enthusiasm and optimism for their future, the clarity of vision that they were making a difference for themselves and their community, and a deep commitment to improving the lives of those around them. My experience was one of the most memorable and enjoyable in my 28 years of living in and traveling around Asia.
I am so thankful for OBAT Helpers for giving the opportunity and the resources to spend time in the camp-dwelling Urdu-Speaking community. My main purpose was working with women and trying to understand maternal care access and use. I spoke with women of varying ages, backgrounds and camps. I was fortunate to spend time in various camps in Dhaka, Chittagong and Syedpur. Immediately, I understood that various factors and problems the women faced on a daily basis intersected with their access to proper maternal care. The conditions were appalling: the cramped quarters, limited access to bathroom facilities, and cooking fumes that filled the tiny alleys. However, I was thankful to see the amount of work OBAT Helpers is putting in to address these factors and access to maternal care itself. The importance of clean water for babies who need to be bottle fed is essential for their health. The multiple deep water wells and water point OBAT was working to provide for clean water came as a relief.
There were specific problems women faced and it was inspiring to see OBAT taking into consideration their specific issues and working to address them. Being able to talk to OBAT’s directors who had experience in this field and explained how the plans they were implementing would be the most effective in the long run was immensely educational. The workers were some of the most hard-working, compassionate and patient people I have ever seen. I can only hope to do half of the work they do and be half of who they are as human beings. I was overcome by the love the children would show at every OBAT school I visited. You could see in their eyes that they were grateful for the opportunity they were being given and were motivated to work hard and overcome their conditions. The investment OBAT is putting into the children of the camps in absolutely necessary for the growth of the communities, they stand as a hope out of the devastating conditions. This organization is one of the most organized and dedicated I have ever seen and believe that they will continue to do amazing work. Their changes to the community were apparent in the way the community members would speak about the changes and the hope they had. I am looking forward to continue working with OBAT Helpers and offering any help I can.
I spent three weeks in Bangladesh, volunteering with OBAT in the camps for stranded Pakistanis. I was impressed by the dedication of OBAT's field staff and walking through the camps with them I observed how they were well liked and appreciated by the community, with many people coming up to greet us with smiles. Although, camp conditions were really shocking for me to see (a Canadian visiting such place for the first time), it would have been absolutely horrendous if OBAT was not doing such great work. I saw the water points and deep tube wells that OBAT had established and was operating, the repairs and construction of public toilets and sewage systems, operations of a medical clinic and pharmacy (dispensing subsidized medication) and how all of these were vital to the community. The camp residents we met were so thankful to have these facilities and mentioned how it made their lives easier especially the water points where previously they had to walk far, wait long and the water quality was not as good.
However, for me the best part was seeing a generation of children that were educated through OBAT schools. The young students we met in OBAT run schools were so positive and seemed so motivated to study. The older students who were volunteering with us had so much confidence and hope in their future despite the difficult living conditions and this is where I feel OBAT has really left a mark. They have provided a generation of kids hope that they can dream of good jobs and better living conditions due to their education. In particular, the girls were so brave and told us that with the help of OBAT staff they had convinced their parents to let them pursue their education and not marry them off at a young age. The social change brought by education cannot be represented in numbers and dollars, but it is such an important intangible in reversing the trend of impoverishment in these communities.
1 person found this review helpful
Since 2009 I have been working in Bangladesh with members of the camp-dwelling Urdu-speaking community, who OBAT Helpers serve. My encounters since that time with OBAT have been consistently positive, observing strong leadership and vision, enthusiastic and invested community-based staff, and youth who are just as enthused to get involved in activities and be empowered to become change makers in their community. Understanding the current needs of the camp residents and being in tune with global develop best-practices, OBAT has created the ''OBAT Think Tank" as a vehicle of youth activism and their "Clean and Green" campaign which emphasizes the role of the built environment in public health and safety. Well done OBAT Helpers and keep up the good work!
If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...
NGO politics is a complicated issue in the camps (as it is anywhere), and I see OBAT as a leader in coordinating with other NGOs so each could provide a unique set of services and in this way be more effective in addressing the variety of needs had by the camp residents.
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