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Review for Obat Helpers Inc, Indianapolis, IN, USA

Rating: 5 stars  

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.

Role:  Volunteer