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.
“Five days until I leave for Bangladesh, and I couldn’t be more excited.”
This was the first entry I wrote in my travel journal, and thinking back to the feelings I was having then and throughout my trip with OBAT Helpers, I’m filled with happiness. I’m very passionate about Islamic societies, culture, language, education and human rights; however, this was my first international experience. Visiting the schools was what I was most excited to experience. I was anxious and curious to hear stories from the children and their families, and to be able to witness first-hand, their living conditions. Were their living conditions, lack of access to jobs, discrimination and socio-economic status eye-opening to me? Yes. But more eye-opening and empowering than anything was the energy and light that came from the children.
The schools, programming, teachers and team members were incredible. The love and feeling of duty that they felt are things that I have never seen and will never forget. It makes me tear up now thinking about them. Looking back in my journal, I wrote about our visit to the school in Rangpur, and how one of the teachers said that she didn’t know these children could be so smart and wonderful, and how she loves them so much, loves her job and is so proud of them. Who knew such light could shine in darkness? OBAT Helpers allowed me an opportunity to join their team, and bring programming that could support and aid in their work in girls’ and womens’ empowerment and education. I figured, I would feel excited and motivated after I arrived back to the States, but I had no idea I would feel as passionate and determined as I do. My pulse quickens at the memories and at the stories I tell when talking to friends and family. OBAT Helpers is striving to create change and provide support to break down barriers of inequality, discrimination and injustice, and I feel honored and privileged to be able to tell my experiences and the stories of those involved and effected by OBAT Helpers.
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.
OBAT helpers is focused to bring change in the lives of people forgotten by others. OBAT has taken an initiative to improve the quality of life for the stateless forgotten people.
I am impressed by the self empowerment projects lead by the organization. The organizational goals and objectives are aligned with its mission. The transparency gives confidence to its donors for their contribution of resources, time, and effort.
OBAT Helpers has a very practical and specific goal with powerful approach towards helping stranded Pakistani in various camps in Bangladesh. This organization is moving forward and bringing hope and changes in the lives of most forgetable people. One of the goal is to return a sense of dignity and self empowerment to these victims of history who live in these camps without hope for the last 40 plus years.
OBAT works in the areas of education, health, and micro-finance. With the help of Obat helpers, I believe that these people who are in camps will get back soon their identity and pride.
OBAT Helpers not only does amazing, effective work empowering disenfranchised people/families in Bangladesh; they also contribute to the local community in Central Indiana by supporting hunger, resettlement, and homeless efforts. OBAT Helpers is a premier nonprofit that has an impact world-wide.
OBAT helpers is an exemplary organization that demonstrates the power of one person's passion. Anwar Khan witnessed the immense need in the refugee camps in Bangladesh and decided to make a difference. His passion and perseverance has inspired hundreds of volunteers and hundreds of thousands of dollars in donations that are making a monumental difference in the lives of the "forgotten" people in these camps.
OBAT has one mission; To return a sense of dignity and self empowerment to these victims of history who live in these camps without hope.
OBAT works in the areas of education, health, and micro-finance. The education mission is carried out through schools, computer training classes, adult literacy, tuition centers, college scholarships, etc.
Whenever and however their legal status gets resolved, we hope that these folks living in camps for the last 40 plus years will be ready to play their part as contributing members of the society.