Community Improvement, Capacity Building

OBAT HELPERS INC

  • Indianapolis, IN
  • www.obathelpers.ngo

Mission Statement

Our mission is to work for the welfare, support and empowerment of indigent and displaced people. The key focus is on alleviating the suffering of thousands of internally displaced people stranded in makeshift camps in Bangladesh by providing them with better living conditions, education and economic skills and opportunities.

The main areas in Bangladesh served by OBAT are: Rangpur, Syedpur, Bogra, Ishwardi, Mymensingh Dhaka, Khulna and Chittagong.

Main Programs

  1. Empowerment, Education and Health
Service Areas

Self-reported

International

Our immediate focus is the forgotten and ignored people, known variously as Urdu-speaking, Bihari or stranded Pakistanis living in slum-like camps in Bangladesh. There are about 350,000 such helpless people languishing in  116 makeshift camps in extremely sub-human conditions since the past 45 years. Their life is characterized by severe poverty, disease, lack of education and no access to sanitary living conditions. Our goal is to help transform them from a liability to an asset through the means of education, training and self empowerment.

ruling year

2005

President

Self-reported

Anwar Khan

Executive Director since 2015

Self-reported

Dr. John Clark

Keywords

Self-reported

obat, obathelpers, obat helpers, adopt, help, charity, fund, nonprofit, bihari, Stranded, camp, urdu, bangladesh, refugee, anwar, akmal, education, self empoerment, micro financing, health

Notes from the Nonprofit

2014 ANNUAL REPORT:

Due to the large size, the annual reports could not be uploaded in the relevant section of our profile. Hence, electronic links for annual reports are being shared here:

2014 annual report: http://bit.ly/AnnualReportI

2015 annual report: bit.ly/OBAT2015AnnualReport



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Also Known As

OBAT Helpers Inc.

EIN

47-0946122

 Number

5496215538

Physical Address

1100 West 42nd st. Suite 125 A

Indianapolis, 46208

Contact

Cause Area (NTEE Code)

Community, Neighborhood Development, Improvement (S20)

Philanthropy / Charity / Voluntarism Promotion (General) (T50)

Nonprofit Management (S50)

IRS Filing Requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

Programs + Results

How does this organization make a difference?

Overview

Self-reported by organization

OBAT Helpers recognizes that distribution of financial assistance alone cannot assure sustainable development in the long term. We believe in a policy of “involvement and empowerment" to guarantee better health, education, hygiene, sanitation and financial progress for the future of those we assist. All of the support and relief programs initiated by OBAT Helpers are based on poverty alleviation, economic empowerment and the assurance of basic human rights and dignity.
                During the first phase of program development, we focus our energies on building and providing the basic amenities for livable conditions. OBAT Helpers believes that a judicious mix of direct financial aid, resource provision and development, education, vocational training, and projects based on the model of empowerment will help achieve the overarching objectives of the organization.

Programs

Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Program 1

Empowerment, Education and Health

OBAT's programs are grouped under the following areas:

EDUCATION & TRAINING: Altogether, OBAT operates more than 50 educational and training projects, including schools, tutoring, sewing and computer training centers. More than 700 scholarships have been offered to students pursuing education at different levels (middle school to higher education). Altogether, almost 4,500 students are enrolled in all the education projects.

SELF-EMPOWERMENT: Over 1,600 families have been self-empowered through our micro-finance program. This program was mainly designed for women entrepreneurs who were provided financial assistance through micro loans. The women defeat poverty and attain financial independence as they set up businesses with the help of these loans. Women also learn sewing and embroidery skills at training centers that are devoted to this purpose.

HEALTH & SANITATION: Over 10,000 people are assisted annually through 2 health care facilities which provide routine medical screenings and medication support. More than 2,000 cataract surgeries have been conducted since 2012 with the partnership of Sightsavers and the RS foundation.

Safe and clean drinking water projects: OBAT has installed deep tube wells in different camps to provide better, safe and clean water for the camp communities. More than 21,000 people benefit from 7 deep tube wells and 29 shallow tube wells.

INFRASTRUCTURE DEVELOPMENT & FAMILY ASSISTANCE: OBAT provides financial assistance to the sick, elderly and widows in the camp communities. Thousands of families have been helped through our Ramadan Food Distribution and Qurbani Meat Distribution Programs. These programs are conducted around two Muslim festivals celebrated in the camps. Communities have also benefited through projects such as: rebuilding/construction of bathrooms, sanitation facilities and community center, etcetera. Relief projects are also undertaken by OBAT in case of a disastrous situation, for instance a camp fire or a natural calamity such as floods or cyclones.


Category

Human Services

Population(s) Served

Other Named Groups

Budget

$450,000.00

Results

Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one. These quantitative program results are self-reported by the organization, illustrating their committment to transparency, learning, and interest in helping the whole sector learn and grow.

1. No of students graduating from computer training centers

Target Population
No target populations selected

Connected to a Program?
Empowerment, Education and Health
TOTALS BY YEAR
Context notes for this metric

2. Total no of students receiving scholarships

Target Population
No target populations selected

Connected to a Program?
Empowerment, Education and Health
TOTALS BY YEAR
Context notes for this metric
The scholarships range from school education to college degrees.

3. No of families receiving charity and food assistance

Target Population
No target populations selected

Connected to a Program?
n/a
TOTALS BY YEAR
Context notes for this metric
This includes clothes, food, assistance after a natural disaster and help with other pressing needs.

4. No of students enrolled in working children program as well as Arabic education program

Target Population
No target populations selected

Connected to a Program?
Empowerment, Education and Health
TOTALS BY YEAR
Context notes for this metric
Working children program provides basic literacy skills to children who need to work to support their families & hence cannot attend school. Program runs from 7 am to 9 am, before they head to work.

5. No of women graduating from sewing centers in a year

Target Population
No target populations selected

Connected to a Program?
Empowerment, Education and Health
TOTALS BY YEAR
Context notes for this metric

6. No of students enrolled in schools and preschools

Target Population
No target populations selected

Connected to a Program?
Empowerment, Education and Health
TOTALS BY YEAR
Context notes for this metric

7. No of students enrolled in tutoring centers

Target Population
No target populations selected

Connected to a Program?
Empowerment, Education and Health
TOTALS BY YEAR
Context notes for this metric
Tutoring centers prepare students to pass the various levels (held at completion of elementary, middle & high school) of government exams in order for them to proceed to the next level of education

8. No of cataract surgeries conducted in a year

Target Population
No target populations selected

Connected to a Program?
Empowerment, Education and Health
TOTALS BY YEAR
Context notes for this metric

Charting Impact

Self-reported by organization

Five powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

  1. What is the organization aiming to accomplish?
    OBAT Helpers aims to empower destitute communities residing in makeshift camps/slums in Bangladesh, through education, health and microfinance. This community, commonly known as, “stranded Pakistanis," or “Urdu-speaking," have been stranded in Bangladesh since it achieved independence from Pakistan in 1971. They were supposed to be repatriated to Pakistan after the two countries separated as they identified with Pakistan politically and linguistically. However, most of them could not be repatriated due to political complications. They still live in the camps that were supposed to serve as their temporary shelter forty-two years ago. Almost four decades were spent by them in the camps without an identity. In 2008, the Government of Bangladesh granted citizenship to those born in the camps after 1971. However, they still struggle with obtaining passports, jobs, housing outside the camps and basic amenities of living. They are discriminated against for their distinct ethnic and linguistic identity and for their past inclination toward Pakistan. Their camp address acts as the greatest obstacle between them and the opportunities that they could have had access to if they were not residing in the camps.

    This population is scattered across sixty-six camps which house around 300,000 people. These individuals received some initial help from international aid organizations. However, they have largely been forgotten by the international community and continue to live in miserable circumstances with little or no recourse to basic facilities.

    OBAT desires to empower the Urdu speaking community so they can one day be in a position to help themselves and not be dependent on external assistance. In order to achieve this goal, OBAT runs programs for education (schools, tutoring centers, computer training centers , preschools, a scholarship program and vocational centers); health clinics and a microfinance program. Programs for infrastructure development such as construction of latrines, tube wells and drains, etcetera are also implemented and financial assistance is extended to the neediest amongst them.

    In order to empower as many of these community members as possible, OBAT has the following goals that it intends to achieve within the next 2-4 years.

    • Develop and enhance its donor base
    • Increase board members and enhance effectiveness of the board.
    • Expand the program services to cover more camp areas and people served
    • Attract nongovernmental funding, corporate and matching grants.
    • Employ newer and more current tools for fundraising.
    • Strengthen internal systems within the organization.
    • Increase media presence to promote organization's work
    • Enhance the volunteer pool
  2. What are the organization's key strategies for making this happen?
    The following strategies will be used for meeting the goals stated in the section above:
    Goal: Develop and enhance donor base
    Strategies:
    a. Conduct more country-wide fundraisers by forming Friends of OBAT chapters in different cities in the US. This strategy is currently employed by OBAT in seven different states in the United States. About 2-3 more groups are expected to be formed in the year 2014 and similarly for the years ahead.
    b. Introduce peer to peer fundraising. This strategy will be implemented so that a peer to peer fundraising option is available on OBAT's website.
    c. Tap into Giving Circles. This idea is taking shape throughout the country and offers a lot of potential where expanding the current donor base is concerned. We intend to reach out to some of these groups and to introduce the organization to them as a prospective cause they can support.
    d. Initiate planned giving. Current and long-term and recurrent donors will be given the option to include OBAT in their wills, trusts or financial plans.
    e. Research companies that offer matching gifts programs. At present, some of our donors are employed by Microsoft which matches the donations of its employees. We intend to conduct research on other companies that offer such programs and inform our donors if they belong to any such organizations.
    f. Explore donor advised funds and community foundations. This is another area that is as yet unexplored by OBAT and which can be a source of potential funding
    Goal: Expand the size of the board
    Strategies:
    a. Invite well connected community members to the board
    b. Request current members to recruit new members. This is already underway. For the next board meeting in 2014, current board members have to introduce three people from their connections, whom they feel would be a valuable addition to the board.
    c. Invite long-term and recurrent donors to the board
    d. Divide the board into committees and entrust each committee with overseeing a particular strategic area.

    Goal: Attract nongovernmental funding and matching grants.
    Strategies:
    a. Apply for funding from approximately 8-10 private foundations in one year.
    b. Research individuals from current donors who work for corporations that offer matching grants.

    Goal: Employ newer and more current tools for fundraising.
    Strategies:
    a. Use peer to peer fundraising
    b. Explore crowd funding sites , for e.g. Crowdrise, Indiegogo and Kickstart
    Goal: Strengthen internal management systems within the organization
    Strategies:
    a. Initiate the usage of new book keeping software offered by Quickbooks
    b. Obtain accreditation from BBB wise giving alliance
    c. Offer more training opportunities to the staff
    d. Initiate usage of a customer relation management software. A decision is pending between two such softwares, “Donor Perfect," and “SalesForce."

    Goal: Increase media presence and promote organization's work
    Strategies:
    a. Enhance the website's features and functionality by hiring a company for
  3. What are the organization's capabilities for doing this?
    Internal assets:
    • A committed and involved board that hails from different walks of life.
    • A qualified and experienced staff in Indianapolis for attending to the operational, planning, development and marketing needs of the organization.
    • Stringent policies and procedures in place for a smooth operation of the organization.
    • Highly transparent in finances. All financial documents are available on the website for public viewing.
    • An administrative set up in Bangladesh that has been created to ensure optimal performance efficiency. Every city has its own administrative staff that oversees all the projects located in that city. All projects, in turn have a qualified staff, for example teachers, trainers, medical staff who work within a strict regulatory framework.
    • Organization stays abreast of current technological and regulatory changes and incorporates them into the functioning of the organization.
    External assets:
    • OBAT partners with a local Bangladeshi NGO, ISDCM (Integrated Services for the Development of Children and Mothers) for the effective implementation of its programs on the ground.
    • Within the local Indianapolis community, OBAT has built strong ties with the St. Luke's Methodist Church, Congressman Andre Carson's office, Provocate - a local think tank, Indiana University School of Law, RESULTS, Center for Interfaith Cooperation, Islamic Society of North America, The student association at Indiana University and the International Center. In the past, OBAT has held walks to benefit Second Helpings and Sense Charter School. In 2014, this walk will benefit, Exodus Refugee and Immigration. The organization is always engaged in an ongoing effort to develop more partnerships with organizations locally and in Bangladesh. Recently, a group of Bangladeshi delegates visited OBAT through a program of the International Center. All four members represented NGO's in Bangladesh. Now, back in Bangladesh, they have already started visiting OBAT's projects to determine where they can offer their expertise and work on different projects in conjunction with OBAT. Two such projects, a medical awareness camp and a dental treatment camp were already held in Dhaka in partnership with the organization, One Degree Initiative, in Bangladesh.
    • The donor base of OBAT is consistent and growing.

    A great resource that OBAT will use in the future will be employing CRM software which will aid the organization in further streamlining its donor management system. It will not only increase the efficiency of donor management but will also increase the productivity of the staff by making information more accessible and more effectively used.
  4. How will they know if they are making progress?
    Quantitative organizational performance indicators:

    • Program efficiency ratio: Our total program expenses are divided by the total expenses of the organization to ascertain the level of expenditure on programs vs. the total administrative costs.
    • Fundraising Efficiency ratio: We divide all unrestricted contributions received from donors with unrestricted fundraising expenses. This shows us how much we spent to raise $1 of revenue.
    • Contributions for a given year vs. the previous four years.
    • Comparison of contributions for different months of the year.
    • Working capital ratio is used to indicate how long we can sustain our programs without generating additional revenue, for e.g. during an economic slump.
    Some non-financial measures that are used to measure performance in specific areas of OBAT:
    Education:
    • Number of students who graduated from a grade in a given school year.
    • The dropout ratio which shows the number of children who dropped out versus those who stayed enrolled.
    • The number of staff to children ratio which shows how many teachers attend to a certain number of children.
    • The number of scholarships awarded in a given period.
    Health:
    • The number of patients treated at the health clinic in a given year.
    • Incidences of recurrent health issues are recorded and the causes of the recurrence are investigated.
    Microfinance:
    • Number of loans disbursed in a given year
    • The rate of loan default
    • Amount of loans disbursed in a given year
    • Total savings of all borrowers
    Tutoring /Computer Centers:
    • Number of students enrolled in a given year
    • Number of students who are able to pass the PSC (Primary/Elementary School Certificate), JSC (Junior/Middle School Certificate) and HSC (High School Certificate) exams. In Bangladesh, it is mandatory to pass these exams in order to receive admission into the next level and the tutoring centers prepare the students to excel in these exams.
    • Number of graduating students who are able to find employment with the help of the computer skills they acquired at these centers. A follow-up is conducted to determine how the graduating students are doing after finishing the course.
    Vocational/Sewing centers:
    • Candidates are tested for all the skills taught to them, at the end of the course.
    • Participants are interviewed at the end of their training to ascertain their satisfaction with the training. A rating is given from one to ten and the results compiled to determine the success level of the program. Reasons for shortfalls are studied and required action is taken.
    • Post training, the project manager visits the homes of the graduates every 2 months to monitor their progress.
    • The number of women who are gainfully employed after having taken the sewing course.
    All above measures are bench marked against similar organizations and are also compared to historical data of the organization to determine the areas that need improvement or changes.
  5. What have and haven't they accomplished so far?
    OBAT'S current initiatives:
    2,207 students in  8 schools in 4 different cities Dhaka, Chittagong, Rangpur, Khulna
    778 students in 30 preschools in Dhaka, Rangpur, Chittagong and Khulna
    170 students in 20 Non Formal educational programs
    2,367 students in 6 tutoring centers, 4 computer training centers, 3 sewing and skill centers for women in Dhaka, Chittagong, Rangpur, Khulna, Syedpur, and Mymensingh
    More than 700 students are receiving scholarships. Financial assistance to help students continue education in schools, colleges and universities
    1,600+ families become self-empowered with our Micro-financing projects
    9,000+ people served annually by 2 OBAT clinics in Rangpur and Syedpur
    9,500+ families get meat during qurbani.
    2,000+ Cataract Surgeries since 2011
    2,500+ families get Ramadan food relief every year
    20+ improvement projects since last 10 years

    The ultimate and long term impact that OBAT intends to produce in the camps is to make the camp population self-sufficient and empowered by providing them means to educate themselves or train them with skills needed to find employment. It recognizes that this goal is not possible to achieve if other issues related to health or unsuitable living conditions act as a hindrance. Hence, its health and infrastructure projects aim to provide the camp residents with adequate access to basic amenities of living.

    Due to the volatile nature of the political environment in Bangladesh, risks and obstacles exist in the form of an unstable environment which sometimes impedes the timely realization of goals. To tackle this issue, the organization amended its plans by inserting an extra cushion of time in its project planning in order to take care of contingencies.

    Also, the organization realizes that any impact cannot be achieved by initiating projects in the camps of its own accord. Rather, involvement of the camp residents in determining areas of need is essential. For this reason, OBAT initiated think tanks which comprise of the youths from different camps. These think tanks while supervised by OBATs' project officers are run somewhat independently by the youth who determine what areas need work and also initiate small projects to solve some of the problems. Also, an “Education for Working Children," program was initiated when some of the children could not attend OBAT's schools due to sharing the responsibility of earning an income with their parents. This program is a daily two hour program conducted from 7 am -9 am and teaches basic literacy skills to children who cannot go to regular school as they need to work to support their families.

Service Areas

Self-reported

International

Our immediate focus is the forgotten and ignored people, known variously as Urdu-speaking, Bihari or stranded Pakistanis living in slum-like camps in Bangladesh. There are about 350,000 such helpless people languishing in  116 makeshift camps in extremely sub-human conditions since the past 45 years. Their life is characterized by severe poverty, disease, lack of education and no access to sanitary living conditions. Our goal is to help transform them from a liability to an asset through the means of education, training and self empowerment.

Additional Documents

Social Media

Blog

Funding Needs

$500,000

Videos

photos


















External Reviews

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Financials

Financial information is an important part of gauging the short- and long-term health of the organization.

OBAT HELPERS INC
Fiscal year: Jan 01-Dec 31

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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

OBAT HELPERS INC

Leadership

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President

Anwar Khan

Executive Director

Dr. John Clark

BIO

Anwar Khan is the Founder and President of OBAT Helpers. He founded the organization after visiting a camp in Bangladesh in 2004 and learning about the dire situation that the Urdu-Speaking community had faced for decades. Anwar hopes to empower the long forgotten community and help them assimilate into mainstream society as strong, productive members of their communities.

Anwar works as Lead Auditor of quality management systems with one of the leading automotive manufacturers, General Motors. He holds his bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering from NED University of Science and Technology, Karachi and a Masters in Business Administration from Indiana Wesleyan University, Indianapolis. Anwar is a Certified Quality Auditor and a member of the (ASQ) American Society of Quality. He is also associated with numerous social services, educational and voluntary activities.

STATEMENT FROM THE President

"It has been twelve years since OBAT was formed to give a voice to the forgotten camp residents of Bangladesh. My first visit to the camps was prompted by a curiosity to witness for myself, the atrocious legacy of a war that split a country and tore apart many lives. I was just a visitor, wanting to help with whatever little I had brought with me. I didn't know at that time that this visit would lead to the formation of an organization which would be helping many of the camp residents through the extremely tough challenge that their life was. OBAT was thus created with the mission to address the harsh and large scale predicament of the Urdu speaking community residing in the camps in Bangladesh. (Learn more about their plight here: www.obathelpers.org).
The camp residents share a will and a drive to overcome odds, their determination to improve their conditions has made our work easier. We provide them with the tools they need to empower themselves and they eagerly use these tools to carve out their future.
OBAT's strategy has thus been very focused. Our programs are re building the lives of the camp residents by educating them, making them healthy and empowering them through skill building. The focus on these three areas will ensure that they will ultimately be dependent on only themselves and will be free of the need for external assistance.
In the last ten years, I have visited the camps annually. I have experienced several moments and met several people. Memories from my first visit to the camps are still vivid in my mind. The voice of the old lady who clutched my arm, not letting go until she had received a promise of help from me, still rings in my ears. The anguish in all 350,000 or so voices still needs to be soothed. As we climb into the next decade of OBAT's existence, our resolve to transform lives through education, health and empowerment is stronger than ever. Come, join us!

Anwar Khan.
(President, OBAT Helpers Inc.)
"

Governance

BOARD CHAIR

Mr. Anwar Khan

General Motors

Term: Sept 2004 -

BOARD LEADERSHIP PRACTICES

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BOARD ORIENTATION & EDUCATION

Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations?


RESPONSE NOT PROVIDED

CEO OVERSIGHT

Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year?


RESPONSE NOT PROVIDED

ETHICS & TRANSPARENCY

Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year?


RESPONSE NOT PROVIDED

BOARD COMPOSITION

Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership?


RESPONSE NOT PROVIDED

BOARD PERFORMANCE

Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years?


ORGANIZATIONAL DEMOGRAPHICS

In order to support nonprofits and gain valuable insight for the sector, GuideStar worked with D5—a five-year initiative to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion in philanthropy—in creating a questionnaire. This section is a voluntary questionnaire that empowers organizations to share information on the demographics of who works in and leads organizations. To protect the identity of individuals, we do not display sexual orientation or disability information for organizations with fewer than 15 staff. Any values displayed in this section are percentages of the total number of individuals in each category (e.g. 20% of all Board members for X organization are female).

Gender
Race & Ethnicity
This organization reports that it does not collect this information for Board Members.
Sexual Orientation

This organization reports that it does not collect this information for Board Members.

Disability

This organization reports that it does not collect this information for Board Members.

Diversity Strategies
Yes
We track retention of staff, board, and volunteers across demographic categories
No
We track income levels of staff, senior staff, and board across demographic categories
No
We track the age of staff, senior staff, and board
No
We track the diversity of vendors (e.g., consultants, professional service firms)
No
We have a diversity committee in place
No
We have a diversity manager in place
No
We have a diversity plan
No
We use other methods to support diversity