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Save the Rohingya

by OBAT Helpers Inc
Save the Rohingya
Save the Rohingya
Save the Rohingya
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Save the Rohingya
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Save the Rohingya
Assessments at the Learning Center
Assessments at the Learning Center

Dear friends,

This past August marked two years since the exodus of the Rohingya refugees into Bangladesh began. The Rohingya fled to escape persecution and genocide and sought safety and protection in Bangladesh. They settled in what is now known as the largest refugee camp in the world- the Kutupalong Camp. As the crisis unfolded on its doorstep, OBAT made a strategic decision to provide assistance in its immediate aftermath.

Two years later, OBAT continues to actively support Rohingya refugees. We can't change their past, but we are determined to help them change their future. Here are the different ways you helped us make a difference in their lives since you last heard from us:

OBAT's Digital Learning Program is Attracting Widespread Interest

OBAT was delighted to provide UNICEF representatives with a tour of the pilot digital learning program in Temporary Learning Center # 8! The children loved the visit to their unique learning space. UNICEF expressed great interest in this innovative teaching method. Many organizations are very interested in this pilot program and we are always happy to provide tours and information on this project. We are very proud of our digital learning program and partnership with Teach the World Foundation and intend to scale this project with the help of our supporters.


Visit by MIT Explored Possible Partnership with OBAT

Martha Thompson from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) visited OBAT's projects in the Rohingya refugee camps recently.  Martha's visit was geared toward exploring a possible collaboration of MIT with OBAT in the Rohingya Camps.  She is a humanitarian worker with a focus on gender and exclusion in crisis situations and has set up MIT Design and Innovation Labs in refugee settings earlier. 

OBAT assisted Martha with the coordination of the needs assessment she was conducting in the Rohingya Camp. She was a lovely guest and was very grateful for the  hospitality, translators and volunteers that OBAT provided to support her work.

Palliative Care Services Offered to Rohingya Refugees

OBAT is now offering palliative care, a service which greatly relieves the suffering of terminally ill patients, to the Rohingya refugees in Kutupalong Camp. No other organization is providing this essential service in the camp currently.Watch this video  to see how OBAT is helping improve the lives of patients and their families.

UNICEF Provided Books for Rohingya Students

OBAT's Humanitarian Assistance Program for Rohingya refugees recently received new books from UNICEF. The books covered  various subjects such as Burmese, Math, English, Life skills and Science. Some story books were donated as well. Besides the text and story books, UNICEF  also donated teacher guides which will help teachers plan their lessons for the school year. Thank you to UNICEF for their generous contribution!

 Palliative Care Training Educated Health Workers

To foster a better understanding of Palliative Care, training was provided to OBAT's Community Health Workers (CHW's) in the Rohingya camps. Community Health Workers go door to door to provide health care to patients who cannot travel to the clinic.

The training was conducted by Dr. Farzana and Dr. Anna. The objective of the training was to help the CHW's learn more about  palliative care including how to deal with and help palliative care patients. Thank you to Dr. Farzana and Dr. Anna for providing the training to improve our health services.

 Digital Learning Control Group Assessments in Action!

 We are excited to grow our Digital Learning Program which is now running in TLC (Temporary Learning Center) # 4 of the Kutupalong Camp as well.  The program was piloted initially at TLC # 8. In both the classes, initial assessments took place recently to determine the students' strength.

 Visitors Enriched the Lives of Rohingya Refugees

 Visitors always bring much joy whenever they visit. Recently, we had a few visitors who added a special touch to the lives of the camp residents. Marwa and Abeer were two young ladies who visited from Oman. They created a play area for the children in OBAT's clinic for Rohingya refugees. The children love to play in the otherwise somber environment of the clinic and the mothers enjoy the free child care too. Marwar and Abeer also visited several of OBAT's projects. 

Mandy and Farhana were another two special volunteers who visited several of OBAT's projects: learning centers, clinics and empowerment centers for women. Mandy is a part-time astrologer who lives in the US and Farhana is a teacher from Singapore. 

Thank you to all of them for giving their time and efforts and most of all, for making the camp residents feel loved and cared for.

Friends, we will keep sharing new updates with you as we continue to move forward. 

September 27th marked 15 years to the day OBAT was formed as a nonprofit serving the destitute communities in Bangladesh. In August of 2017, OBAT took the lessons learned from the foundation it built, to address the Rohingya crisis. We are grateful to each one of you for helping us address this humongous crisis and for giving us the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of thousands of people in the Rohingya camps. Thank you for standing with us!

We look forward to sharing new updates and progress made a couple of months from now! Please share this project with your friends and families and encourage them to help the Rohingya community by spreading awareness or through financial support.

 Our best to you,

 Your OBAT Family.

Assessments at the Learning Center
Assessments at the Learning Center
Mandy and Farhana
Mandy and Farhana
Martha Thompson from MIT
Martha Thompson from MIT
Marwa and Abeer from Oman
Marwa and Abeer from Oman
Books from Unicef!
Books from Unicef!
Unicef donation
Unicef donation
Palliative Care Training
Palliative Care Training
Palliative Care Training- 2
Palliative Care Training- 2
UNICEF team with the children
UNICEF team with the children
Goofing around!
Goofing around!
Precious smile of a Rohingya child
Precious smile of a Rohingya child

Links:

Representative from MSF gifting the donations
Representative from MSF gifting the donations

Dear friends,

 

Thank you for your continued support for OBAT’s Rohingya Relief Program. Because of you, many lives are staying afloat. Even though the monsoon rains have been causing extensive damage in the camps, there is always a ray of sunshine to be found. In this report, we are sharing with you all the good that you have enabled since you last heard from us. Here are some highlights:

 

Rohingya children receive culturally sensitive books

 

Books Unbound works with Rohingya refugees to develop a culturally sensitive curriculum, allowing the refugees to take education into their own hands. They develop picture dictionaries with vocabulary specifically tailored to the Rohingya lifestyle. With multiple learning levels and topics, these picture dictionaries serve as culturally appropriate learning. Books Unbound recently distributed their books among the Rohingya children at OBAT's learning centers.

 

Medical supplies received from partnering organizations 


Malaysian Field Hospital recently made a donation of medical supplies to OBAT. These will be used at OBAT's two medical clinics for Rohingya refugees that treat over 400 patients a day. The World Health Organization also provided $3,500 worth of medical supplies.  We really appreciate the support of partners like MSF and WHO as it enables us to provide excellent services at the medical clinics.

 

Students given medicine to safeguard against infections

The terrible living conditions in the Rohingya camps make the food and water sources contaminated, which makes the kids prone to parasitic worm infections. Students of OBAT's learning centers were recently given the medicine Mebendazole, to prevent such infections. Healthy children not only affect the general wellbeing of the community but also increase their attendance in school.

 

Interfaith iftar supports Rohingya refugees

May 25th saw a powerful display of interfaith service, when Muslim, Jewish and interfaith organizations in Indianapolis, OBAT’s US headquarters, joined together for a fundraising iftar for OBAT's work for Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh. MC Emily Longnecker from local TV channel WTHR, kept the audience engaged as key note speakers Mindy and Rabbi Jeff Glickman and other visitors to the camps, Kristin Wright and Fatima Hussain spoke about witnessing the impact of OBAT during their visits. Eh Too Rah and Rabbi Brett recited Christian and Jewish prayers while Imam Ahmed Alamine recited the adhann at the time of the Muslim prayer. We are grateful to all our participants, sponsors, guests, speakers and volunteers for coming together for an inspiring interfaith evening. A special shout out to the JCRC (Jewish Community Relations Council) for taking the initiative to raise awareness for the Rohingya crisis and for being the lead sponsor for this event.

 

 500 Students Receive Eid Clothes

 

With the help of AWARD and OBAT's Think Tank in Chittagong, Eid clothes were distributed among 500 students in the Learning Centers for Rohingya children. Eid is a festive holiday celebrated in the Rohingya community. The children have been prospering in the healthy environment of the Learning Centers which is a sharp contrast from the trauma they have been through. Their life is still full of difficulties and challenges in the camp environment and we are thankful to both the Think Tank and to AWARD for spreading this joy among the students.

 

 United States' Ambassador Visits Rohingya Camps

 

United States Ambassador to Bangladesh, Mr. Earl R. Miller, observed World Refugee day by visiting the Rohingya camps. Together with his wife and other refugees, he participated in a rally and walked two miles to express his solidarity and support for the refugee population. We are grateful for Mr. Earl's support and participation in this important day that serves to bring attention to the plight of refugees.

 

 OBAT's US Headquarters Observes World Refugee Day

 

On June 20th, World Refugee Day, OBAT's headquarters in Indianapolis, United States, held a mini photo exhibit at the Indiana Interchurch Center. On display were powerful and poignant stories of Rohingya refugees who crossed hundreds of miles on foot to escape persecution and find safety and hope in Bangladesh.

 

Thank you once again for your support. Feel free to reach us anytime at contact@obathelpers.org for any queries. Keep up to date with the progress of our programs at www.facebook.com/obat.helpers.

 

Until next time!

OBAT team.

 

Donations from MSF
Donations from MSF
Visit of United States
Visit of United States' Ambassador
Distribution of Eid Clothes
Distribution of Eid Clothes
Distribution of Eid Clothes
Distribution of Eid Clothes
guest at interfaith iftar
guest at interfaith iftar
speakers at interfaith iftar
speakers at interfaith iftar
audience at interfaith iftar
audience at interfaith iftar
World Refugee Day exhibit
World Refugee Day exhibit

Links:

RCF providing dental services
RCF providing dental services

Hello folks,

 Hope you have been having a great year and are starting to enjoy some sunshine in your part of the world. It’s time to update you about the myriad ways in which you made a difference to the lives of the Rohingya refugees you have been supporting with your compassion.

 Here are some highlights that transpired since the last time you heard from us:

 RCF provides much needed dental services

The Refugee Crisis Foundation (RCF) has been working in the Rohingya camps, providing dental services six days a week. Over 700 patients have been treated so far.

The services provided include emergency dental treatment, extractions, scaling, fillings, antibiotics and pain relief. According to RCF, the oral hygiene habits of the Rohingya refugees are quite different which results in severe problems. They brush their teeth several times a day with salt, charcoal or sometimes sand, causing destruction of tooth tissue. The dentists have repaired the cavities to prevent further damage. 
However, to prevent this problem, RCF adapted the oral health education segment of their program. During the hygiene training, RCF volunteers taught the community how to wash their hands and brush their teeth properly and made them aware of the consequences of not doing either. 

 Clinic health workers organize workshop to boost literacy

The Community Health Workers from OBAT's health projects for Rohingya refugees, held their first workshop on January 10th to learn reading, writing, and speaking in English. It was led by one of their own team members. Community Health Workers provide on the ground reporting and support to the medical team in the clinic for Rohingya refugees, by visiting camp residents in their homes and providing basic treatments and remedies, keeping the individuals healthy and the clinics less crowded. Click here to watch part of the workshop.

 Playground to be rebuilt with donors' generosity

A playground that had initially been built for Rohingya children, was destroyed by the brutal monsoon season. OBAT's Board Director, Dr. Henna Qureshi, organized a fundraiser on Facebook and raised more than $11,000 for the rebuilding of the playground which will now begin reconstruction in February. Thank you to the incredibly generous donors and to Dr. Qureshi for this amazing effort to bring back smiles on the children's faces.

 Teachers receive lesson plan and medical training

In the Rohingya camps, a Teachers Learning Circle was held for the teachers at OBAT's Learning Centers. The training focused on the development of lesson plans and daily action plans for Math, English and Life Skills. The training was carried out with the assistance of the education sector in Cox's Bazar; the sector provided the lesson books for the teachers which contributed to the effectiveness of the training.

A separate but similar training was also held for local Bangladeshi teachers over two days. The training was completed in two parts so that one teacher could continue classes as normal. Capacity building and training are an essential element of our education program and we look forward to more of continuous improvement training among our team members.  

Proper medical training is also one of the most important aspects of our program. All of our learning centers are equipped with a first aid box and our Community Health Workers provide basic first aid training to our teachers. The most recent one which included CPR training, was held in February. 

 Rohingya construction project is a finalist for award!

We are excited to share the news that OBAT's construction project in the Rohingya camps is a finalist for the FIBRA award! The project is the playground built for Rohingya children. Congratulations to the team working on these projects! 

Here is what the FIBRA award is about:

"To highlight the use of bio-based materials in the construction field, amàco (atelier matières à construire) launched the FIBRA Award with the scientific support of the Zurich Institute of Technology (ETH) and the know-how of BioBuild Concept.
The purpose of this first World Prize for Contemporary Plant Fiber-Based Architecture is to showcase the aesthetic properties, the construction advantages and the environmental benefits. Identifying exceptional buildings around the world will allow the public to discover them.
The FIBRA Award wishes to pay tribute to the courage of clients who chose to use bio-based materials, to the creativity of architects and engineers, and to the skills of craftsmen and contractors. "

Visitors get inspired by OBAT's projects

Shafin and Marium were two new visitors who toured the camps during March. The two cousins were visiting from Hong Kong and Houston, respectively. They expressed great admiration for the the wide scope of projects run by OBAT, especially the digital learning program that is being run for the children in the Temporary Learning Centre # 8. Shafin and Mariam also enjoyed talking with the doctors working in OBAT's clinics and visiting the Women's Empowerment Centre where sewing classes are currently being run. We are very thankful to Shafin who organized a fundraiser for OBAT in Hong Kong on April 13th.

 Thank you very much for creating so much hope with your support. Please spread the word about the plight of this community and share this project's page with your friends.

Until next time,

Your OBAT family.

 

RCF providing dental services
RCF providing dental services
RCF providing dental services
RCF providing dental services
A Rohingya child
A Rohingya child
Playground
Playground
Playground
Playground
Teacher
Teacher's training
Teacher
Teacher's training
Teacher
Teacher's training
Shafin and Mariam with the clinic staff
Shafin and Mariam with the clinic staff
Shafin, with a student from Digital Learning
Shafin, with a student from Digital Learning
Shafin and Mariam with staff
Shafin and Mariam with staff
A group of Rohingya children
A group of Rohingya children

Links:

Ongoing Aser assessment
Ongoing Aser assessment

Greetings dear friends!

Wishing you all a very happy and a fabulous new 2019! Hope the new year has kicked off to a good start for all of you. We have a ton of news to share with you about what’s been going on in our Rohingya Relief Project. Thanks to you, we have been able to accomplish all this since the last time we were in touch:

Assesments ascertain student learning and development

OBAT led Humanitarian Assistance Program is applying ASER assessment tools in our education sector in the Rohingya camps in order to improve student learning. Teachers have been conducting these student assessments in different TLC's (Temporary Learning Center) in the Rohingya Camps. 

ASER stands for Annual Status of Education Report. This is an annual survey that aims to provide reliable estimates of children's enrollment and basic learning levels. Building the capacity of our teachers and volunteers is also a part of our development goals. Hence, prior to the assessment, the teachers also received training to enhance their knowledge in this area. 

Harvard students develop designs for structures in Rohingya camps

During the first week of December, OBAT's Executive Director, Immad Ahmed, was invited to Harvard University's Graduate School of Design (GSD) to critique the final submission of students for the Agha Khan Workshop that Professor Anna Heringer has been conducting. Mr. Ahmed's visit was a follow up to the visit of the Harvard team to the Rohingya camps in September about which we wrote to you in our last update.  Mr. Ahmed was able to review and provide feedback and answer questions during the final review process. 
After returning from their study of the Rohingya camps, the GSD's students had created possible scalable solutions for a child-friendly space and other community structures in the camps. They focused on using sustainable and locally sourced materials that were adapted to meet the various design challenges in the camp, from typography to monsoon and cyclone season. 
OBAT's team will be working with some of the graduates on implementing their designs in the camps- some of the ideas and concepts that the students came up with will be incorporated into our future plans and designs. 
We are so grateful to Harvard, Professor Heringer and her students who gave us the opportunity to be a part of such a great project and also help us provide more sustainable solutions for the refugees and residents in the camps. 

 Edie's Community Kitchen in Rohingya camp addresses fuel shortage

One of the biggest challenges in the Rohingya refugee camp has been a source of fuel for cooking. Currently, there are about 900,000 people living in the camp and the only available source of fuel is the wood and roots from the trees in the forest. This has caused major tension with the host community. 

To combat this problem and help the community to cook emergency meals in a disaster situation, our team with the help of the Glickman Family, has built Edie's Community Kitchen. 
The goal is for the community to use this place for events, weddings and also in times of fuel shortages. We also wanted to ensure that we had a facility that could cater to cooking large amounts of food to help provide support for extremely vulnerable individuals and families. 
We've used mud walls to give strength to the bamboo structures and provide a facility safe for cooking and feeding large numbers of people. In the past few weeks, we have already raised over 6,000 USD to help provide cooked meals to thousands of people over the next few months. 
We want to thank the Glickman Family (Mindy Radler Glickman and Jeff Glickman) for their continuous support. Click here to watch a video of the kitchen. 

 APPNA donates life-saving ambulance for Rohingya clinic

 A special thank you to APPNA (Association of Physicians of Pakistani descent of North America) for donating a life-saving ambulance for the OBAT clinics serving Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh. Theambulance will be used to transport patients who need further treatment, from the clinics to a hospital. The ambulance will be an incredibly valuable addition, as the terrain in the camps is very treacherous and transporting the patients in man-made stretchers has been a huge challenge and has led to delays in receiving treatment

Thank you for standing with us to address this tremendous crisis and for helping us achieve all of the above. We hope that this year is a fantastic one for you. Please continue to reach out to your friends and family to share this project’s page with them: http://goto.gg/30136. Here’s to a 2019 that brings more light and relief to the Rohingya refugees.

Best regards,

OBAT team.

Ongoing Aser assessment
Ongoing Aser assessment
Prototype made by Harvard students
Prototype made by Harvard students
Prototype made by Harvard students
Prototype made by Harvard students
Prototype made by Harvard students
Prototype made by Harvard students
Immad Ahmed, with the Harvard team
Immad Ahmed, with the Harvard team
Immad Ahmed (left), with the Harvard team
Immad Ahmed (left), with the Harvard team
Edie
Edie's Kitchen
Edie
Edie's Kitchen
Edie
Edie's Kitchen
Ambulance
Ambulance
Ambulance
Ambulance

Links:

Students holding up bars of soap
Students holding up bars of soap

Dear friends,

We have lots to share with you in this report- all this could not have happened without your incredible support for which we are immensely grateful. Here are some inspiring highlights:

Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design visits Rohingya camps to study OBAT’s shelter design

A team of 18 people from Harvard University arrived at Cox's Bazaar (Bangladesh) in late September. Out of the team, 12 people are the students of Harvard Graduate School of Design. They are accompanied by Martin Rauch (an architect specializing in sustainable architecture) and Anna Heringer (a visiting professor who is conducting the Aga Khan workshop at the Harvard Graduate School of Design). Two filmmakers also accompany the team. 
They visiting the Rohingya camps to study OBAT's structural design for the shelters that were constructed for Rohingya refugees. The team is conducting a research for better design options.

Listen to Anna Heringer talk about her visit here: http://bit.ly/2OVWkS9

 Learning centers in Rohingya camps teach hygiene

The recent Global Hand Washing Day was observed with great enthusiasm in our learning centers for Rohingya children. The students were taught how to properly wash their hands. 
Teachers demonstrated the right way to wash hands to the students and gifted a free bar of soap to each one of them.

 Digital literacy project begins in learning centers for Rohingya children


On October 10th, OBAT led Humanitarian Assistance Program started the pilot project of digital learning at the learning center no 8 in Kutupalong Rohingya refugee camp. Currently, OBAT is running twenty six learning centers for the children. OBAT has already been partnering with Teach the World Foundation to bring digital literacy to children in the camps for
internally displaced Urdu speaking people. 
Digital learning uses gamified apps on tablets to facilitate faster and more effective learning.

Hear from OBAT's Executive Director, Immad Ahmed, about this project here: bit.ly/2OXA9eB

Thank you again!

With the upcoming holiday season, the best gift you can give to the Rohingya refugees is spreading their message-talk to your friends and family about the trials the refugees face and encourage them to send a small gift to light up their lives. You can share our project page by sharing this link: http://goto.gg/30136.

Don’t forget to contribute to this project on #GivingTuesday- Global Giving will match donations up to $150,000 and will also issue bonus prizes to its partners like OBAT. Share your support with friends on social media on Giving Tuesday- generosity is highly contagious and you can help spread the virus!

 Blessings and much joy to you in this holiday season.

 Your OBAT family.

 

Learning to wash hands properly
Learning to wash hands properly
Learning to wash hands properly
Learning to wash hands properly
A child learns to read on a tablet
A child learns to read on a tablet
Harvard University team visiting a learning ctr
Harvard University team visiting a learning ctr
Harvard University team visiting a learning ctr
Harvard University team visiting a learning ctr
Harvard team with OBAT staff
Harvard team with OBAT staff
Harvard students study Rohingya shelters
Harvard students study Rohingya shelters
Harvard students study Rohingya shelters
Harvard students study Rohingya shelters
A facilitator teaches a child how to use a tablet
A facilitator teaches a child how to use a tablet
Children with their tablets
Children with their tablets

Links:

 

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Organization Information

OBAT Helpers Inc

Location: Indianapolis, IN - USA
Website:
Project Leader:
Saima Hassan
Indianapolis, IN United States

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