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The journey of a lifetime

“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.

How does helping rebuild refugees lives sound to you?

Burma, Iraq, Eritrea, China, Cuba, Afghanistan and the Democratic Republic of Congo are some of the countries whose natives have sought protection and refuge in Indianapolis. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if you could help them rebuild their lives here? An easy and fun way to do this is to register for OBAT’s 5K walk, Race 4 Rehma at www.race4rehma2014.eventbrite.com. This year, we are partnering with Exodus Refugee and Immigration. Proceeds from this event will be donated toward Exodus’ mission of helping thousands of refugees establish their lives in Indiana.

Racing for Rehma means Racing for compassion so invite your friends and family to be a part of this event and to Race for compassion with you. Form a team for any of the above country’s names and walk together in solidarity for them. Enjoy live music, snacks and products made by artisans in Cambodia, Kenya, Haiti and Burma- not to forget the scenic and serene beauty of the canal and the warm temperatures of spring- the perfect combination for an entertaining Saturday morning!

Join OBAT in helping Exodus make Indianapolis the new home of refugees seeking shelter in Indiana from all over the world.

Race 4 Rehma. Race 4 compassion.

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No Oscars were given out here but it was an “award winning” performance nonetheless. #Oscars

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These stellar performers belong to OBAT’s Rangpur School and have received some shiny accolades of their own. In the PSC (Primary/elementary School Certificate) exams, 40% of the Rangpur School students got an A+, another 40% got an A and 20% received an A-. As a reward for an excellent performance among other government and private schools, the students earned a trip to Swapna Puri or the City of Dreams park.

Thank you for lifting up this resilient bunch!

These individuals overcame obstacles to be where they are today as you stepped forward to help them. In the months leading up to OBAT’s ten year anniversary on September 26th 2014, we will share with you snippets from this ten year passage through milestones and achievements, beginning with the first one here. Read more about the lives of this resilient bunch:http://conta.cc/1bIxCG6 

Celebrating ten years of empowerment in 2014!

In September of 2004, a modest organization with a compelling mission emerged on the map of Indianapolis. Established by a purposeful individual with an earnest intent, it reached out to help distressed and forgotten individuals living eight thousand miles away in the South Asian country of Bangladesh. In the nearly ten years that have elapsed since then, you have helped OBAT Helpers achieve several milestones and touch innumerable lives. In these ten years, you have been by our side to give hope to the hopeless and to enlighten the lives of thousands of disadvantaged people with education.
In this momentous year, we want to celebrate with you everything that you have helped us accomplish. All of OBAT’s educational institutions, the life changing micro loans that have been disbursed and the numerous health treatments extended to the sick were made possible because of you.
As we enter the next decade of possibilities in 2014, we hope that you will walk with us when we make strides toward greater objectives, that you will help us set our sights higher, to attain more and to serve more. Thank you for sticking by our side.

Celebrating girls all over the world on Intl day of the girl child.

On International Day of the Girl Child, today, we are proud to share with you that the number of girls enrolled in all of OBAT’s seven schools exceed the number of boys who study there. October 11th, declared by the United Nations as the day of the girl child in 2011, focuses this year on “Innovating for Girls’ Education.”

We are excited to unveil OBAT’s fresh off the press, photo and narratives book, “Forgotten.”

The book conveys stories from the camps through compelling images and copy. Proceeds from its sales will fund OBAT’s programs. Order a copy for yourself for $25 plus shipping by emailing us at contact@obathelpers.org or better still grab a copy while you are at the photo exhibit this Saturday: https://www.facebook.com/events/537128609661563/Image

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