We are OBAT Helpers

WHO WE ARE

OBAT Helpers is a non-profit, 501(C) 3 organization committed to providing aid, support, education and economic empowerment to the unfortunate, displaced forgotten population residing in camps in Bangladesh. Commonly known as stranded Pakistanis, they have been suffering silently in the countless slums or makeshift camps scattered across Bangladesh, for the past 40 years. They are unclaimed by both the governments of Bangladesh and Pakistan. Altogether, there are about 300,000 people languishing in sixty-six makeshift camps in extremely poor conditions. They are a population living in abject poverty with no access to basic amenities or sanitation facilities.

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HEALTH.

Help us provide relief, comfort and assistance to those ailing from common medical conditions to life altering treatments.

EDUCATION.

Help us provide countless opportunities to bright young students, from pre-school through college, to expand their lives and transform their futures.

EMPOWERMENT.

Help us empower the forgotten through investing in self-financed businesses and self-sustainable community infrastructure projects.


2014 Top-rated nonprofits and charities    2015-top-rated-awards-badge-embed   gx-gold-97x71vetted-2015-small BADGE

2015 RAMADAN SPIRIT CAMPAIGN
92%
GLOBAL GIVING
69%
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OBAT Helpers Inc. is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) public charity organization (Tax ID# 47-0946122)

Impact: The Facts

CATARACT SURGERIES PERFORMED
STUDENTS IN OUR EDUCATIONAL PROJECTS
FAMILIES SELF-EMPOWERED THROUGH OUR PROJECTS
SERVED EACH YEAR BY OUR HEALTH CLINICS

"The camp residents are like my extended family, and even though the trials they face are endured by them and them alone, I experience their suffering and pain vicariously."

ANWAR KHAN, PRESIDENT OF OBAT HELPERS

Become an OBAT Helper

Adopt a Project

Adopt a Project

Is there an OBAT Helpers project that really touches your heart? Now is your chance to reach out and make a difference! This four step program allows you to raise funds toward any of our projects and create an indelible impact on the lives of the unfortunate camp residents. You, along with your family and friends, can join hands and provide help by adopting educational programs, tutoring centers, health clinics, drinking water projects and individual families. You can also fund college scholarships and camp improvement projects.

Volunteer

Volunteer

OBAT Helpers benefits thousands of destitute camp residents in Bangladesh. Locally, it also holds an annual 5 K walk, benefiting a worthy cause in Indianapolis. This effort requires a lot of help in every possible way. Your support has played a fundamental role so far. Now, you have the chance to get directly involved by helping us with a skill or by simply giving your spare time. Sign up today to be an OBAT Helpers volunteer and use your free time for a great cause. Join H2O (Help to OBAT- a volunteer group of young professionals) or YFO (Young Friends of OBAT- a volunteer group aged 13 to 18). To volunteer, please reach us at contact@obathelpers.org.

OBAT Helpers Annual Trip

OBAT Helpers Annual Trip

Every year, the President of OBAT, Anwar Khan, makes an annual trip to the camps to monitor and evaluate the projects and to address issues and concerns faced by the residents. Throughout the years, several people including board members and volunteers have joined him in his yearly trip. You can be a part of this life changing experience too. Visit the camps to lend your talents. Teach skills, mentor students, tutor and train them to learn and perform better. Reach us at contact@obathelpers.org if you are interested in travelling to Bangladesh in the future. It is a great opportunity to organize a mission trip, lend your talents or spend valuable time learning a new culture, helping deserving people and seeing another world.

From the Blog

Meet Samir, who is inspired by a great teacher

Samir lives in block D of the Geneva Camp with his mother Shahida and his father Mohammad Shamim. His father supports his family of four with the monthly wage of $89 he earns as a barber. Samir’s mother is a very kind hearted individual who inspires Samir to do good.

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Meet Suman, an aspiring entrepreneur

SUMAN

Suman’s father passed away when she was young. Her mother, Moni, started sewing clothes for a living to support her three children, bringing home a monthly income of about $77. Her mother’s hard work and kind and encouraging demeanor as she strives to make life as easy as possible for her children, is a source of inspiration for Suman.

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OBAT Helpers Media Production

The exhibit of photography from the Urdu-speaking camps in Bangladesh, Diamonds in the Rough, is a creation of a new group, OBAT Helpers Media Production.

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Meet Taniya Akhter, Geneva Camp

Taniya is a sixteen year old who lives in Geneva Camp with her father Mohammad Zosim and mother Jahanara Begum. Her brother lives with them, works as a butcher, and supports the family with a monthly income of $128.

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My trip to the camps- reflections and looking ahead

 

As I wrapped up the year 2015, here in Chittagong, Bangladesh, I couldn’t help but think of all the changes and improvements I have observed during my visits during the past ten years. During the last decade, I have begun each new year with our brothers, sisters and youth in the camps (commonly known as stranded Pakistanis/Biharis). My goal is to provide them with hope, dreams, and to help them navigate the tough road ahead of them.

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The journey of a lifetime

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“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.

Hannah Croucher, May 2014