Learning is a lifelong process and OBAT Helpers is dedicated to ensuring that underprivileged kids living in camps in Bangladesh combat illiteracy and inequality with education. OBAT Helpers' preschool prepares 4-6 year old kids to pass the 1st grade entrance exam for government schools. This will open new doors for camp kids to gain an education at very low cost and establish positive relationships at an early age. This is a vital step in reintegrating these children into society.
The Urdu speaking (also known as Bihari or stranded Pakistani) kids live in extreme poverty in slum like camps where there's no concept of literacy. Their parents are living in these camps since last 42 years, they are illiterate and earn meager incomes. They have no hope or vision for a better future. Continuing illiteracy will perpetuate their cycle of poverty and confine them to minimum wage, laborious jobs. Some older siblings work to supplement their family's income.
OBAT runs 20 preschools that are in need of funding to continue their operations. The preschools are a one year program during which 4-6 year olds are prepared to enter the elementary school system. The kids are provided all essential supplies, text and note books. They acquire basic literacy skills which enable them to clear the test for admission into an elementary school. Hence, the program builds a solid foundation which offers them hope for a future free from poverty.
The Biharis living in the camps have no resources for admission in mainstream government schools. Thus,over 90% of them are illiterate and only 10 % of their kids are in elementary schools. The preschool curriculum includes instruction in hygiene and discipline. It will play a vital role in empowering the kids by facilitating their admission in elementary schools, assimilating them into mainstream society and ultimately transforming them from liabilities to assets.