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 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!
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 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 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
1700 Pennsylvania Avenue, Suite 360
Washington, DC 20006
Great nonprofit with a great cause! Appreciate the transparency and the work they are doing to empower the people in the camps.
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' story, remains the most inspiring story for me. It is a story of taking action to make the world a better place, for people who have known nothing but hard life. The dedication and selflesness of the people in OBAT, the mission they take to heart, the hard work and their energy to live true to the organization's mission, does indeed far exceeds my expectations and by far, of all the people of have heard of the organization and its mission. OBAT is not merely a non-profit organization, it doesn't take donations and buy "stuff" for the displaced Pakistanis (Biharis) who live in the camps in Bangladesh, OBAT empowers, educates and builds foundation to improve the lives of the Biharis. I consider myself lucky and honored to be part of OBAT and to know the people who work for OBAT.
ObatHelpers makes a difference for a group of people that nobody else is thinking about. If ObatHelpers wasn't serving the Stranded Bihari's they would have no services. ObatHelpers is making a difference through meaningful and transformative programs. Micro-lending, training, education, healthcare all help these people transition into Bangladeshi society as productive members.