You want sincerity, competence, integrity, honesty, strength, energy, compassion, empathy and heart in a charity. That is exactly what you get with OBAT Helpers. You simply won't find a better group of people, from the field workers to the board of directors to the founders of this Humanitarian Aid and Relief organization, OBAT Helpers makes their donors, partners and volunteers feel like part of their family. I had heard about OBAT Helpers in 2016, when I was fortunate enough to have been invited to an event to raise funds for their projects supporting the Bihari Community in Bangladesh. I had worked with their Executive Director on a relief mission in Pakistan a few years back. Watching the presentation, I was impressed with their passion and dedication to people that the world has forgotten. I hadn't even heard of the Bihari before that night. Last year when the Rohingya crisis flared up and hundreds of thousands of people were forced to flee into Bangladesh to escape the genocidal campaign of the Myanmar Army, I contacted OBAT Helpers to see if they were responding. Sure enough, they were putting a relief mission together. I decided to support their mission because they already had 14 years of experience serving a stateless and neglected community, and are already registered in Bangladesh and thus could get moving quicker in delivery of aid than larger international organizations. I visited them twice, In October and December and have referred several volunteers and donors to their "Humanitarian Assistance" mission in the Rohingya camps, which has grown from an emergency assistance program into a long term refugee camp management program, concentrating on bringing health, shelter and education for the Rohingya People. Their international volunteers were from all over and some of the coolest people I've ever met. I also took the opportunity to visit several schools and camps where they are assisting the Bihari People in all facets of life, from clean water projects to higher education scholarships. Wherever I went, I could see their positive impact where it counts the most- on the faces of the children and families they serve. A regeneration of my hope for Humanity took place as I saw the young people who are employed by OBAT Helpers, many of who are refugees themselves, enthusiastically going about their work with beautiful and contagious smiles, a can do attitude, and a sense of belonging and purpose. They are doing amazing and inspiring work in the toughest and most heartbreaking of situations and I hope you will join them in any way you can because they are worth any amount of time and money you could give. Todd Shea CEO & Founder Comprehensive Disaster Response Services (CDRS)
Obat Helpers is truly an exceptional nonprofit organization. There is no other group who works so close to the ground day in and day out to help refugees in need. I worked with the group in the Kutupalong camp last summer and was inspired by how much passion was present. The staff and volunteers are such great people and they work tirelessly for the communities. Humanitarian projects may often be criticized as unsustainable, but until global justice is achieved, organizations like obat remind me that compassion is real and that even in the worse of times, there are wonderful people dedicating their lives to helping others and making conditions more livable. As a summer volunteer, I learned so much from this group. They built me into their daily routine, and gave me the opportunity to make use of my skills rather than bureaucratic busywork. I will take the lessons I learned from my time with obat with me through the rest of my life.
My summer with OBAT has taught me the fundamentals of true, honest, and ethically sustainable humanitarian work, and forever changed my life. In the course of my summer here, I have met the most amazing people from both the Rohingya camps and the local Bangladeshi communities. I have participated on hands-on projects in the education and health sectors, and worked with refugees to produce social media and journalistic content to raise global awareness. OBAT cuts out all the bureaucratic hierarchies and headaches of non-profit and advocacy work, and places you in a position where you can make a real and direct impact on the live of others. This opportunity has been wonderfully rewarding, and has shown me, a graduating college senior soon headed into the real world, what an unwavering commitment to humanity looks like.
OBAT Helpers Inc has given me an invaluable experience and insights into the lives and living conditions of the refugees in Cox's Bazaar. It was a platform where I was given the opportunity for a first-hand interaction with the refugees. I was also given the chance to contribute to the refugee community in areas of education and journalism. Once the COVID situation eases up, I am looking forward to visiting the camp again under OBAT, and tap on other areas to lift the hardships faced by these living individuals.
I was with OBAT for about month, aiding especially in areas within the educational and reporting scenes. OBAT is a true performing non-profit organization in every sense. Every one whom I've crossed paths with in the OBAT House and the OBAT players in the field are passionate individuals who invest their energy and time tirelessly to help alleviate the pain that the Rohingyas are facing. Every individual under OBAT that I have chanced upon, or even spoken to in length, has displayed great humanitarian values and drive in ensuring that while the Rohingyas are residing in the temporary shelters, they are provided with platforms for maximising their time and capacity to better themselves for the sake of their own future well-being.
Apart from that, I'd definitely recommend OBAT to anyone who has the heart to reach out to the Rohingyas because the organization provides a sense of flexibility for volunteers to give in ways that are relevant to their expertise, experience and comfort levels.
The transparency and the sense of homeliness that I have experienced myself in OBAT have given me hope and a sense of assurance that the lives of these displaced and unfortunate people are in good hands.
I had the honor and privledge to learn about Obat Helpers and the impactful work they are doing through my friend who invited me to take a trip with her to Bangladesh. Its was one of the best experiences of my life! Thanks to this this trip I got to learn about the Bihari people and their plight, and I got to see how through Obat Helpers, Bihari refugees are given the opportunity to an education and a future out of poverty. Obat helpers is a one of kind organization that empowers refugees to empower their selves through teaching them communication skills, how to speak English, and a wide range of leaderships skills, as well as teaches the power of giving back. It was so impactful to see how the youth are taking charge of their own futures by pursuing an education and careers. Obat Helpers fosters community and respect for everyone's ideas. My favorite part was to see hear about the growth of each and everyone of the youth we met. It was inspiring to see young girls leading projects and not being afraid to voice their dreams! In addition to serving the Bihari refugees, Obat Helpers does critical work in the Rohingya refugee campps. Along with other partners they help fund the Prantic Health Clinic that serves thousands of Rohingya refugees a week under difficult circumstances such as limited staff and supplies. The clinic staff and medical team are true angels! I am a proud supporter of Obat Helpers and look forward to continuing to support this organization and their mission.
In August of 2017 I began to follow the story of the Rohingya and their forced exile from Myanmar. This was a big story in Canada, the first country to declare that Myanmar had committed a genocide. I am a professor in Canada and do research in the field of culture and child development. As I read the news and witnessed the heart wrenching photography of Paula Bronstein and other photojournalists who covered the exodus, I began to ask how the basic human values of compassion, altruism and fairness, those that we all share when we enter life on this planet, could ever survive treatment such as the Rohingya have experienced. How could a child grow from this early trauma into a person holding positive, prosocial values toward others? And so began my effort to understand and to share the story of the Rohingya in my scientific world, where very few of my colleagues were aware of the horrific events of 2017, and the Rohingya’s longer history of persecution. It was Jean-Nicolas Beuze, then UNHCR Representative to Canada and a partner in my research who put me in touch with Dr. Shujaat Wasty, Founder and President of OBAT Canada, when I was looking for a local partner in Bangladesh’s Rohingya camps. I visited the field offices of OBAT Helpers in December of 2019 and was welcomed into the world of their Rohingya Relief program. At so many levels this is an excellent organization. From their partnership with Rohingya community members and the Bangladeshi NGO Prantic Unnayan Society, to their first-rate medical clinic and inspiring women’s entrepreneurial project to the very touching personal connection that Dayna Santana had with children as we walked through the camps - I was, at every turn, deeply impressed by the accomplishments of this organization. Witnessing the children’s digital educational program in action confirmed for me that this organization has their finger on the pulse of what is needed in the Rohingya community. OBAT Helpers and I are working together now, in partnership to evaluate a program to foster prosocial behavior in children who have experienced extreme trauma that we will launch as soon as the pandemic concerns have subsided. As I remember the faces and happiness in the Rohingya children’s eyes from last December’s visit, I feel once again my admiration for the effective outreach that OBAT has accomplished in these few short years.
A year or so ago, I had never heard of OBAT. Such has been the burgeoning of the global humanitarian and development sector around the world. But I have been involved with the Rohingya since I was a UN staff member in the early 1990s and first visited Burma/Myanmar and Rakhine State in the shadow of the 1992 exodus. I have remained involved ever since, and become an advocate for Rohingya rights including especially their own voice being heard in corridors of power where decisions are made about them. Nothing about Rohingya without Rohingya!
Last autumn I received a call from OBAT (Canada) to address a fund-raising event. I was happy to do so. I learned then how well-organised and serious this group is. It was an impressive event with enthusiastic participants and a highly capable organising committee. I was moved to make a donation.
In January, I visited Bangladesh for meetings in Dhaka and then to the refugee camps near Cox's Bazar. I pursued my usual contacts. On-the-spot, I also reached out to OBAT - interested to see their operations on-the-ground. This proved to be an important decision. It wasn't as easy as in the past to visit the camps, so the assistance of OBAT - immediately and ably provided - was crucial.
My visit coincided with the announcement by the International Court of Justice of its decision on Provisional Measures imposed upon Myanmar in the case brought by The Gambia for violations of the 1948 Genocide Convention against Rohingya (especially in 2017 which resulted in what is now the world's largest refugee camp that I was about to visit). This was, of course, of tremendous interest for the Rohingya themselves, and I was able, through OBAT, to meet and to hear and discuss the decision with them. I had already spent the better part of the day in the camps, where I got to see the OBAT Clinic and programmes in operation, and in the evening I met OBAT staff at their office cum residence outside the camps. I saw a dedicated and professional organisation, with knowledgeable people and nimble operations. I witnessed the effort made for, and the trust enjoyed with, the refugees. This was an efficient and effective organisation - clearly keeping true to their declared aims and their promises both to donors and to beneficiaries. I thought to myself "small is beautiful" (in operational terms)... except that the enormity of the needs made me wish OBAT had many more resources so they could scale up their operations and achieve so much more!
Having 30+ years of experience in the field, it is always encouraging for me when I meet new (to me) NGOs filled with wonderful people practising their beliefs in support of humanity, welfare and plain decency.
The world needs more of OBAT! I encourage those who can to support OBAT. I shall be doing so.
I climbed into an ambulance on January 14, 2020 with 20 pounds of brightly colored poster board, markers, watercolors, color pencils, and three copies of "Dear Child," a picture book for Rohingya children. This was how OBAT Helpers and I greeted each other in Cox’s Bazar, and it’s how we started every day for the next two weeks. Each morning we woke up to fresh roti and milk tea in the OBAT house in Ukhiya, a village in South East Bangladesh on the border with Myanmar. OBAT's committed team of local doctors, nurses, and dentists piled into the ambulance together and road each day into the largest refugee camp in the world.
After a short hike up a steep hill we made it to “the famous clinic.” That’s what the Rohingya community calls OBAT’s health center, which sees between 200 and 300 patients a day. Many of the visitors are children who wait long hours while their parents seek care. OBAT Helpers invited me to create a child friendly space at their clinic where, with the help of OBAT's kind and empathetic Rohingya interpreters, we made artwork and read "Dear Child." Children decorated OBAT's health clinic, bringing bright color, traditional designs, and cheer to the whole community. I am grateful to OBAT for enabling me to learn from the Rohingya children and their community, who provided invaluable feedback on "Dear Child" as they shared their own stories, challenges, illustrations, aspirations, and innovations.
OBAT enabled me to apply me experience in M&E and communications to support their programs. I conducted interviews with OBAT teachers at temporary learning centers, students, and health clinic staff, to understand the challenges, accomplishments, and aspirations of the OBAT community. This data, along with photos from the field, went into OBAT's regular reporting, and I was impressed with OBAT's receptivity to observations and recommendations- a true testament to OBAT's interest in learning from the Rohingya as their needs evolve and to their accountability to meeting the needs of the crisis-affected population.
Having been so impressed by OBAT's work, I was happy to create three short videos to support OBAT's fundraising efforts for education and health programs. After spending time speaking with and observing OBAT's team and programs, both in the camps and with the host community, I am truly amazed and moved by their commitment to improving health and education outcomes for the entire crisis-affected population- to listening, to empathizing, and to empowering Rohingya team members as leaders within their community. It was a true honor to spend time with the OBAT team.
-Jade Hawes, Humanitarian Picture Books (L3C) Founder. Masters in Global Human Development and Humanitarian Crisis Response, Georgetown University.
I was so lucky to spend one month with the all the amazing people from OBAT in Bangladesh and got the chance to hopefully help to make the life of some Rohingya's a tiny little bit lighter for some moments.
Thank you very much for this opportunity!
Life is difficult and I need help to help cure those around me with diseases,people are dying all because of 100s and 200s of dollars.
Anyone reading this let your heart be touch in the name of our lord so that you can help cure people with minor and major disease.
Lord richly help you as you donate.
It’s been an incredible honor to be a part of the obat organization over the last two years. It’s one of the few orgs that I know that empowers from within the community while also using a grassroots approach. From the people the org aims to serve to its leadership; we all are one family working to improve the human experience. Not to mention that all the funds are transparent so you truly see where your donations go. That’s so difficult nowadays in larger ngos with so much overhead. I pray for it’s continued success and that many lives are touched in a positive way; the same way mine was.
I had the opportunity to visit the refugee camps, over the summer. It was an amazing experience to be able to talk and spend time with the all the kids there. Unfortunately, I was only able to be there for a short amount of the time, but the time I was there I feel like I've gained a lot of perspective.
Over the past year I have spent two months, divided between three trips, in Bangladesh, where I was hosted by OBAT Helpers. Their staff has been instrumental in helping me with my fieldwork in the Rohingya refugee camps, where I have been pursuing research for my master’s thesis at the Harvard Graduate School of Design.
OBAT Helpers has been working in the Ukhiya and Teknaf regions for several years, and few organizations have so adeptly established programs in the Rohingya camps or so sincerely established trust within the community. Their staff members are intimately connected to the groups they serve, and they plan for long-term prosperity even as they address urgent conditions. The organization is one of the most agile groups working on behalf of the Rohingya refugees, and they provide convenient accommodation for guests and useful resources for colleagues.
Thanks to OBAT, I gained access to many areas where I conducted interviews and obtained photography and video footage, ranging from expansive visualizations of urban and ecological conditions to intimate portraits of everyday activities. I observed interactions between the military, host community, humanitarian actors, and refugees, both registered and unregistered. I have seen the stewardship of health care, the distribution of supplies, the education of children, the construction of buildings, and a wedding. I have been invited into homes, health clinics, learning centers, and public spaces where I have heard the voices of wives, mothers, teachers, husbands, fathers, builders, daughters, sons, clinicians, and community organizers. Their stories reveal a complex tapestry of the Rohingya community that is, unfortunately, too frequently obscured and rendered impersonal through the lens of humanitarian infrastructure.
Organizations like OBAT help us reach beyond newspaper and social media headlines to find the people whose lives are indelibly altered by the tragedies sown from violence, political division, and forced migration. In the same way OBAT empowers the local community while supplying assistance, we need more organizations to reevaluate the possibilities of humanitarian aid, and the manner in which it is provided. It is essential that we study examples like theirs if we are to meet the challenges of a century in which we witness no dilution in hatred toward minorities, refugees, women, and other persecuted groups.
I applause OBAT for their efforts in Bangladesh to better thousands of lives in camps and cannot recommend a better NGO that covers a large number of projects. Our consistent small donations can go a long way towards establishing and maintaining health clinics, infrastructure and providing family assistance, education and vocational training so that these Individuals living in dire conditions can better their lives and have a chance that has been denied to them for decades due to discrimination . Good work OBAT!!
Obat Helpers is my favorite charity because they go where the action is, and put their lives on the line to help the less fortunate families in Bangladesh. A couple of years ago I found out about Obat helpers and got to see how hard they are working to make a positive difference by supporting education, health, community and Infrastructure development.
I right away started doing the little I can to support this organization, and I would encourage others to get involved as well!
OBAT Helpers is an amazing NFP that truly operates from a grassroots community level, empowering displaced people with opportunities that provided them with both dignity and a semblance of normality in their lives. Volunteering with them feels like being part of a big family. They are very inclusive, with horizontal hierarchy and genuine intentions to improve the lives of displace populations.
I had the unique opportunity to visit the projects Obat Helpers is developing in Bangladesh both in Geneva Camp, Dhaka, and in the Rohingya Refugee camps, Ukhia.
It was amazing to experience first-hand the valuable work Obat Helpers is doing by supporting the most vulnerable communities and to see the daily commitment and contribution of all the staff towards a more just world!
I have been attending and supporting OBAT for years now and have had the great opportunity to meet the people behind this great non-profit. They are some of the most dedicated people helping those who everyone else has forgotten and caste aside. What makes OBAT different is they empower the very communities they support so that one day they may become an independent and self-sufficient community. Teaching education and commerce, allows families in these communities to provide for themselves and bring them out of poverty.
OBAT has been a part of my life since its inception in 2014 as the Founders are good family friends. Previously my firsthand experience has been limited as my involvement tended to only be by volunteering for local events however, this past summer my eyes were reopened as my involvement grew from volunteering to becoming the summer intern. Every time I spoke donors, old an new alike, amongst the many great things that were mentioned about the work that OBAT does is how incredibly efficient and effective they are with the resources they have at their disposal. Overall, if there is one thing that you should know about the staff and board of directors is that they work tirelessly to ensure your donations benefit as many lives as possible.
I volunteered in late 2017-2018 with OBAT Helpers for approximately 4 months supporting the humanitarian efforts of the Rohingya people in Bangladesh. Their projects included work in the health, shelter and education sector where I met with a hard working and diligent local and international team on the ground pouring in the efforts to build a foundation to fuel long term assistance for the Rohingya community.
OBAT Helpers has a history of creating a solid and trustworthy foundation of empowerment and education at the forefront of their mission that is reflected in their local staff, bringing tools and resources for the community that need it most.
On the ground I witnessed the building of shelters, teacher learning centres and medical posts to support families, women men and children that have been displaced from their homes and have suffered extreme trauma.
They facilitate international and local help from doctors and experts in the humanitarian field to advance their work and I believe part of their strong support by donors is driven by the display of sheer determination to work form a local point of view in mind which was what attracted me to their organisation.
Creating access to free education and medical care, they have created job opportunities and programs to help support those that are in need and I believe as a locally based non profit organisation I would highly recommend supporting their work in any capacity to assist in the long term humanitarian effort there.
I started volunteering with OBAT Helpers in December 2017, working with the education sector in the Rohingya refugee camps in Cox’s Bazar. OBAT does amazing work with all their projects in education, health and shelter. Working closely with the education team, I realised how dedicated they are: doing everything they can to provide an education to as many children in the camps as possible, giving them both a formal education and life skills to help them cope with the conditions in the camp. Along with learning English, Burmese and Maths, the children also learn health and hygiene skills, and meditation and exercises to help with their mental and physical health.
One of the most amazing things that OBAT does is empower the local Bangladeshi and Rohingya staff. OBAT is great at recognising the skills and experience of local people and building their capacity, so they feel confident in their roles and are constantly learning and developing new skills.
During my time in Bangladesh, I also visited Geneva camp in Dhaka. Here I visited a school for children of the Urdu-speaking Bihari community that is part of the Digital Learning Program. The children are given tablets and taught how to use them, learning English, Bangla and maths through games. The Digital Learning Program has also just been launched in Cox’s Bazar. To begin with, one local Bangladeshi school and one school in the Rohingya refugee camps will be part of this innovative project.
Congratulations to OBAT to all you have achieved and good luck for the future.
I have been involved with OBAT and donating for OBAT causes for over a decade. I have been amazed by the dedication and hard work of OBAT team. Great projects in education t help the folks that are stranded in refugee camps.
I volunteered with OBAT Helpers for one month helping in their efforts in the Kutupalong refugee camp. Smaller and having less resources than many other organizations in the area OBAT focused on its strengths, specifically:
1) experience in the region;
2) small size enabled it to act nimbly and flexibly in a constantly evolving situation; and
3) passion and determination of its staff and volunteers
I was very impressed. This organization does great work!
I continue to be amazed by the adaptability of OBAT helpers to address situations as they arise in Bangladesh. Their unbelievably deft and thorough response by developing the Humanitarian Assistance Program for the Rohingya was the definition of what OBAT stands for. The tireless efforts of the teams and coordination across the country and world is awe inspiring to say the least. OBAT Helpers is a paragon of non profits from their programs to their administration. The actions and attitudes of all involved prove what passion and dedication can achieve when channeled into a force for good!
From the beginning of OBAT the founding members have tirelessly engaged in the betterment of the lives of those in the camps. They grew and continue to grow through their commitment to engage people at all levels to raise awareness. OBAT is an extensive organization filled with the most compassionate, driven humanitarians who welcome you into a family dedicated to improving the lives of those they serve and those who serve with them. I was honoured to have worked with OBAT and look forward to doing so in future.
I have been donating charity funds regularly for the last 10 years on behalf of me, my family and from pooled funds from a number of my childhood and school friends to OBAT Helpers for the wellbeing of the Stranded Pakistanis in some 65 camps in Bangladesh. Every year we are donating from Canada Eid Al Azha sacrificial cow and goat meat to the camp dwellers there through OBAT who purchase the best livestock and perform all operations on site serving some 600 very poor and deserving families. Additionally, we have been donating for specific emergency medical/social help like lifesaving heart surgery of an 11 year old girl from the camp, installation of tube wells for adequate water supply, supporting all costs of marriages of daughters of very poor parents, all through OBAT. The reason of writing all this here is to let the world know, that in all these 10 years I have not found any other Charity Organization, so transparent in its operation and finances, and so passionate in ensuring that our charity dollars have gone into the hands of the most deserving destitute of Pakistan confined in Bangladesh in those shanty camps for the last 47 years whom Pakistan and the rest of the world has forgotten. All such charity operations are recorded by camera photography on site live and shared by OBAT with us (the Donors), where we see how and to whom our donation is being distributed and the smile on their faces and thankfulness in their eyes, which often makes us cry with tears of gratitude to our Lord for providing us with the opportunity and the platform (OBAT) to have been able to bring some happiness on the parched faces of those very long time sufferers of humanity. That boosts our morale and the zeal to do more and so our donations and support has grown over the years and will keep growing....
Lots of Love and prayers for those sufferers and for OBAT's team,
I have been involved with the nonprofit organization for the past 35 years and this is one of the best nonprofit organizations I’ve worked with. They are not only doing an amazing job but they are bringing awareness issues for the which no one knows about around the world. The world has forgotten them and the OBAT helpers has brought a light in that tunnel for those stateless people which no one has ever done before.
I am a big believer that mental wellness is essential for individuals to reach their full potential and happiness. This is why I am very concerned for the refugees who are living in protracted traumatic conditions without the blessings of resources and support that we enjoy in the US. We all have seen countless horrific images of Syrian mothers and fathers desperately trying to save their families in the worst of conditions. I cried many times after watching the PBS Frontline report on the Rohingya crisis, Myanmar’s Killing Fields! I couldn’t believe the magnitude of pain and trauma the Rohingya refugees are going through. I had never seen or heard of such atrocities! I kept telling my self I need to do more for them. Those parents and their children carry those experiences with them into their next set of challenges and they don’t have any of the resources I have, to take care of themselves or families! For refugees, these memories are still there as they try to deal with unimaginable loss, shattered families, and constant uncertainty about their present and future. A whole generation could be lost!
Thank god OBAT is there to help. OBAT’s efforts gave me hope! They were the first ones on the ground, to build shelters and provide humanitarian relief. I met with their leadership team with the goal to develop a mental health program for the Rohingya refugees. I worked with other non-profits before to help refugees but this organization is unique, OBAT’s staff truly cares! They are always looking for innovative, low-cost, sustainable and holistic approaches to help refugees. Their commitment and dedication to the cause are impressive. Their hearts and minds are in the right place. I am a proud supporter of OBAT helpers and all that they do.
I have been following OBAT Helpers for a while now and it is great to see their progress and growth in the different development areas. I have donated to different types of projects and programs and continue to encourage family and friends to support the great work this group is doing.
I have supported OBAT helpers for a number of years due to the importance of their mission and cause. It is a unique organization dedicated to people living in Bangladesh in camps with extremely poor conditions. These are people that have been forgotten and you will not hear about them in the news. OBAT helpers approach them in a comprehensive manner focusing on education, empowerment, health and lifting them out of poverty. Without OBAT helpers, they would have a much worse life.
I spent two weeks volunteering alongside top rated doctors and specialists from Malaysia, New Zealand, India, USA, Germany and Norway. My time was at the Kutapalong Camp in Bangladesh, outside Cox's Bazar. I assisted the team in triage and taking vitals of all these dear, grateful Rohingyan refugees. The clinic was so well organized with their own fully equipped pharmacy, ED and even had their own monitoring room for ultrasound, extensive tests etc. The days were exhausting yet so very rewarding. OBAT in the USA were extremely professional and on board with streamlining and supporting the operation and medical teams on the ground there at Camp 4. Even at the 11th hour, OBAT staff in Indianapolis facilitated my entry with an invitation letter into Bangladesh to support their medical team. I'm so very grateful to have the opportunity to volunteer in Bangladesh. I'm making plans to volunteer again before the end of this year. Thank you to all the local Bangladeshi staff, the Rohingyan translators and entire support team in the USA for helping these beautiful displaced people.
I had the opportunity to visit the projects of Obat Helpers on site in Bangladesh. I was thoroughly impressed with their efficiency and effectiveness on the ground. It is apparent that the Obat team on the ground is extremely dedicated, selfless, and committed towards making a meaningful impact in the Bangladeshi refugee camps. While visiting the camps I observed the high quality of the shelters that they had built in the camps. These shelters were of far superior quality to the larger NGOs working in these camps. They have set up functional classrooms and a full fledged medical clinic that is providing essential health care to women and children in these camps. The Obat team has really gone above and beyond in the work that they have done in these camps with limited resources. The commitment of the workers on the ground is admirable and truly inspirational. It is without a doubt in my mind that the work that Obat is engaged in is improving the quality of life and in many cases essential for the inhabitants of these camps. I fully endorse their work, will continue to support and work with them, and would gladly return to visit their projects again in the future.
I was fortunate to spend a month volunteering with OBAT- Humanitarian Assistance Program this last year. I didn't know what to expect going in, and I was floored by the amazing sense of community and teamwork that OBAT exuded. I've worked with various other refugee organizations within Europe, and what really struck me when I volunteered with OBAT in Bangladesh, was their push to truly be grassroots and strengthen the community we were working within. Within the large camp for Rohingya refugees, resources are severely lacking; and during my time with OBAT, the action-oriented nature of the team to start up clinics, schools etc. was amazing and very productive. It was an amazing experience working with the OBAT team; futhermore, I had the chance to experience many of the schools sponsored by OBAT in Chittagong, and never had I experienced a more humbling and motivating experience.
OBAT continues to change lives for Bangladeshis, refugees, and Rohingya refugees. It was such an amazing experience to be a part of, and experience the work OBAT is doing, and the amazing work they are doing to better the world.
I volunteered with OBAT in March 2018, as a physician for Rohingya refugee camp, in cox bazaar, Bangladesh . I was blown away by the free medical services this organization is providing, including free consultations and medications. They have a team of young, energetic and dedicated volunteers and staff, many of whom are local. The goodwill OBAT has created via their humanitarian work is very impressive. They deserve all the financial help. Volunteers and staff can use all the support they can get , as without either, this amazing mission cannot sustain .
Friends of Humanity International, Inc has been working with OBAT Helpers Inc to help Rohingyian Refugees in Kutuplang, Bangladesh. We found OBAT Helpers Inc to be a Professionally managed, committed and above all to help Humanity at large. Our visit to OBAT Helpers healthcare clinic in Kutuplang was a very humbling experience. Clinic is managed by well trained health professional from locals and abroad providing healthcare services to local communities. We are indebted to Saima Hassan for coordinating and facilitating our trip. We are also thankful to Anam , Emaad, OBAT local office volunteers for their kind help. God bless OBAT Helpers Inc for all they do to serve Humanity. Mohammad Javed Qureshi. Chairperson & Founder FHII.
OBAT has won me over as an exemplary charitable organization. They are extremely efficient and clearly driven by the cause. They are also very responsive to donor inquiries and provide regular updates about their work. I highly recommend everyone looking to make this world a better place to support OBAT Helpers!
I have attended the fundraising of OBAT Helpers many times. I am very impressed with the professionalism and the service that is provided to so many people with the limited resources that they have.
I am on staff at a large Methodist church and last June we hosted OBAT Helpers and their Iftar dinner. It was a great honor to get to meet their Board members and volunteers and learn about the outstanding work they are doing in Bangladesh. Every single one of the people involved is passionately committed to serving the people who have to struggle every day just to meet basic needs. They stretch their available dollars and make great things happen. I am happy to b associated with this great organization.
Since the start, OBAT Helpers has been doing amazing things to help those who are stranded in Bangladesh. What started with building a restroom for the camp dwellers, has now turned into a dynamic organization achieving goals and outcomes unimaginable to any of us. It is humbling to see the amount of time and dedication that the staff and volunteers put into this organization. I am excited to see what future projects will be added and how OBAT will continue to grow.
I truly admire the work that OBAT is doing. They have a established system in place to determine the need and help the community and families who are in need. I attended the Iftar fundraising event that was organized very well and connect people from different religions and social backgrounds to work for the same cause. I congratulate the OBAT team for their success and will support them to continue on their mission.
I have become a great fan of OBAT since being introduced to them about a year ago. I was unaware of the scale of the issues that they have taken on in the camps they serve--from schooling to medical care clinics to micro-lending. Trying to serve an impoverished, marginalized community of 500,000+ is a massive challenge in itself.
I had the privilege of visiting two of the camps in Dhaka a few months ago and it was both a heart wrenching and an inspiring experience. The conditions under which the camp inhabitants are living--no bathrooms, no running water, no kitchens, incredibly cramped quarters, extreme poverty--shook me to the core. What inspired me was the unbelievable optimism I saw in the faces of the children and adults I met and the degree of volunteerism that permeates the camps. It looks like everyone is helping their fellow campmate in one way or the other--a high-schooler teaching a kindergartner; a seamstress teaching her neighbor how to sew; etc, etc.
I also saw OBAT in action there. They are loved by the camp residents, are able to get tremendous support from them as well as from communities outside the camps, and wonderfully leverage a "volunteer army" from the camps. I also saw a very lean operation with almost no overhead, and a great deal of attention being paid to costs.
I have met the leadership team as well, from Anwar Khan (CEO & Founder) to Immad Siddiqui (COO) as well as others. They are among the most motivated, inspired and inspiring people I know--and their being at the helm gives me great confidence as a supporter.
In short, this is one of the best NGOs I have had the pleasure of supporting--and I work with quite a few good ones. Pound for pound, they deliver more than anyone I know. They also have a great cause which is easy to get behind, and they deliver visible, tangible results. My only concern is that they may be too lean; and that they may not have sufficient resources to do the fundraising they need to scale their programs. However, that motivates me to do more for them. I expect to remain a supporter for a long time.
Teach the World Foundation
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I (heart) OBAT Helpers Inc. The spirit and success of OBAT cannot be captured with words. Even the organization's title, which is based on the names of beloved family members, bespeaks a legacy of selfless service and compassion. OBAT is a cutting-edge non-profit that envisions possibility and pursues it -- with a human touch. And over the 13 years since Anwar and Afshan Khan established OBAT with immeasurable vim and vigor, their agency has become a welcome cheerleader for the once stateless masses of Bangladesh that has lifted thousands of men, women, and children from invisible impoverishment and transformed them into contributing citizens. And I am not just writing this glowing review because of what I have read or things I heard second hard. I have been able to witness this amazing transformation through multiple in-person visits to the stateless people camps in Bangladesh: for the first time in 2004 and several time since with the most recent trip in early 2016. The change is almost unbelievable. OBAT's executive and local leadership have taken great pains to grow their organization in a strategic, systematic, and sustainable manner. All administrative tasks are handled professionally. OBAT's country-centered programs are progressive and meaningful. Great effort is made to empower staff, actively engage volunteers, and boost beneficiaries alike. In a world teeming with groups that do good works, OBAT Helpers stands out. OBAT undertakes cost/benefit analysis, seeks practical solutions, and sets out to tackle real problems by investing in people and practical on-the-ground programs that make a measurable difference. I (heart) OBAT Helpers.
I went to Bangladesh in Dec 2016. I visited few camps in Dhaka and in other cities as well. No words can define the misery and suffering through which the people in the camps are going through on a daily basis since last 45 years. Be it accommodation, livelihood, medical, drinking water, toilets and bathrooms- each job is an uphill task to perform. It is beyond one's imagination how a family can live in a 8 ft. x 8 ft. space which happens to be their living room, bed room, kitchen and everything. The third generation of camp dwellers is passing through the anguish and pain since last four decades.
OBAT Helpers are doing an amazing job in the camps. They believe in providing the fishing rod instead of the fish. Besides providing basic amenities where possible, this organization is giving hope, dreams and optimism to the people and the major tool which they are using is EDUCATION. It is hard to believe but it is a fact that second generation of the camp residents are completely uneducated due to various facts but there are so many educated people in the third generation. I talked with the school kids, graduate young men and other students and I was impressed by the glow on their faces when they were talking about their future and their goals and aims in life. Definitely OBAT has empowered the community with the feeling that they have not been completely forgotten and they can also achieve all the good things in life like other human beings with the support from OBAT Helpers and using education as a tool.
OBAT Helpers are doing their job in a systematic way while remaining in their means. They have a bunch of volunteers who are from the camps (mostly) and dedicated to the cause.
This is a very brief account of what I witnessed there. There are many stories on each end of the alleys in the camps, stories which are unbelievable. I will encourage all those people who feel for the forgotten to pay a visit to the camps and see the situation with their own eyes.
I heard about the work OBAT Helpers does in the camps in Bangladesh many years ago. I followed their progress from a distance. Then last year, I decided to learn more and help. The more I learn about OBAT's work, the more amazed I am at the dedication of the team and the difference it is making in the lives of the forgotten people in Bangladesh.
OBAT provides assistance to the population it serves but more importantly it provides hope.
The images from Bangladesh are so different from just a few years ago - from hopelessness to young faces beaming with hope. Thank you OBAT for doing this very important work!
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.
Great nonprofit with a great cause! Appreciate the transparency and the work they are doing to empower the people in the camps.
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.
I worked with the president of OBAT Helpers to coordinate the first San Francisco Bay Area event held on April 9, 2016. The organization was able to get very high quality speakers that were flown in from the East Coast and Midwest for a panel discussion that was very informative and in-depth for the audience members who had very little exposure to this crisis. The volunteer team that helped to put on the event was also very committed to its success and a lot of planning and work went into creating a very successful initial event for this region. I hope to see this turn into an annual event so that the improving conditions of the stateless people in Bangladesh can continue to be front and center in the minds of the Bay Area residents and they too can work with OBAT Helpers to hasten the closing of the camps.
Okay helpers IA doing great and amazing job in helping the poor and needy person In camps......God bless you.
“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 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.
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.
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.