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Review for Obat Helpers Inc, Indianapolis, IN, USA

Rating: 5 stars  

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.

Shafiq Khan
Teach the World Foundation
1700 Pennsylvania Avenue, Suite 360
Washington, DC 20006

Role:  Donor