Frequently Asked Questions 

  1. Overall Questions
  2. Family & Orphan Sponsorship Program
  3. Clean Water & Sanitation
  4. Education Programs 


Overall Questions

What are the displaced population camps in Saidpur? 

The families living in the displaced population camps are those who were dispossessed when East Pakistan became Bangladesh in 1971 and eventually rendered them stateless. They are not referred to as refugees as they were already living in East Pakistan/Bangladesh when they lost everything; they didn’t leave the land but, in a way, the land left them. These families have been ‘displaced’ for 50 years now, entering the fourth generation growing up and living in these camps. There are up to 104 camps all over Bangladesh with camp populations ranging from a couple thousand to over 50,000 inhabitants. Camp residents live in difficult conditions, often in one-room 8′ x 10′ shelters without running water and basic needs. 

How will my donation be used? 

100% of your donation goes towards supporting the program beneficiaries, whether that is orphan or family sponsorship, an education program, or any other program you choose to donate to. OBAT’s administrative expenses are covered by a separate fund. 

Who oversees the distribution of funds / services to the beneficiaries?

OBAT Canada has a field support team that ensures the funds / services are delivered to our programs in an efficient manner.

What happens if I want to cancel a recurring donation?

If you can no longer continue your subscription we fully understand. Please email programs@obatcanada.org and we will take care of the rest. 

Family & Orphan Sponsorship Program (Saidpur)

In what country does the program operate and how are beneficiaries selected? 

The family and orphan sponsorship program operates in Bangladesh, specifically in displaced population camps in the city of Saidpur. As of January 2021, there are over 25,000 residents living in these camps. Beneficiaries are selected and prioritized on the basis of their health and financial situation, where immediate attention is given to the elderly, widows and those without social support. 

How will my donation support a family? 

100% of your donation goes towards the benefit and care of the family. Your donation goes directly to the families who spend the money on their daily food, medicine, and shelter. 

How will my donation support an orphan? 

100% of your donation goes towards the benefit and care of the orphan. The orphan (as well as their guardian) will receive food, proper health and hygienic care, as well as financial support for the child to pursue and focus on obtaining a quality education.  The funds will also be used to provide occasional gifts (e.g. during Eid) to bring joy into their lives.  

How long does it take for the family / orphan to receive help? 

Our family and orphan sponsorship programs are dedicated to helping families and orphans living in displaced camps throughout the year. After your donation has been registered, families and orphans will receive an OBAT Canada beneficiary card which enables them to receive the donations at least once a month at our center based in the city of Saidpur.

Can I receive pictures of the family or orphan that I will sponsor? 

Yes. 

  • One-pager upon donation: When you donate to the program, you will receive a one-pager with information and a picture about the beneficiary (family or orphan, depending on the program you selected). 
  • Donors who commit to at least a 6 months donation or sign up for recurring monthly payments will receive: 
    • Annual report – The report will provide pictures as well as progress on the beneficiary’s wellbeing showing how your donation has impacted their lives.  
    • Video call (optional) – We also offer donors the ability to have a short video call with the sponsored beneficiaries, facilitated by an OBAT Canada volunteer. 


How long does OBAT Canada support the orphan? 

OBAT Canada commits to taking care of an orphan in this program until they complete their education, whereby they either pursue a vocational trade or become a working professional.  At this point the orphan will become ineligible and the donor may be assigned another orphan.

Can I send a gift to the family or orphan that I will sponsor? 

Yes. Please contact the OBAT Canada International Programs team (programs@obatcanada.org) and we will coordinate with you in terms of the appropriate means to send the gift.

Clean Water & Sanitation 

Where are the wells installed?

The wells are installed in identified areas of need within displaced population camps in Bangladesh. Recently, we have had a high focus of concentration in the Saidpur area, but have also installed in other areas when our field team has identified a need.

What happens when I donate less than $250?

Donations under $250 will be used to repair and maintain the wells that have already been installed by OBAT Canada. Your donation serves a critical need to ensure that the residents of these camps have clean and potable water.   

Why does it take so long to install the wells?

There are several factors that contribute to this.  We tend to wait till the summer season to install the wells as this is when it is most feasible to do the necessary construction work.  Furthermore, by doing all the installations at the same time (to the best of our capabilities), we ensure to purchase materials in bulk so as to optimize on the cost of the wells. There are other reasons as to why we cannot do well construction year-round (e.g. seasonal monsoon weather), and that is why we want to give a realistic expectation to our donors.  Please note that lately we have also experienced delays due to the COVID-19 pandemic and our team on the ground is doing their best to continue work in a safe, effective manner. 

What do I get when my well is installed?

OBAT Canada commits to sending each donor (who donate a minimum of $250) a picture of the well installed as well as the dedicated nameplate next to the well that was requested by the donor. The donor will also receive information as to the location of where the well was installed.

Why aren’t the costs per type of well fixed?

The construction costs of a well can vary depending on the required drilling sessions in the identified location, the depth of the hole, the need to construct a platform or not and other variables, hence the need to provide a cost range per type of well.  If the actual cost of the well is less than your donation, OBAT Canada will use the remaining funds towards the repair and maintenance of wells that have already been installed.  

Can donations be pooled together?

OBAT Canada has in the past pooled together a group of donations towards a bigger project (e.g. motorized well) when a need has been identified by our team in the field. This is ultimately done with the intent of ensuring that our funds are used to help the most amount of people possible within the displaced population camps.  When and if this happens, the OBAT Canada team will always ensure to keep donors up to date on the progress of their donations and nameplates will still be installed with each donor’s name. 

Education Programs 

How will my donation support the education programs? 

100% of your donation goes towards the education program. When you donate, we put the money towards the program with the most pressing needs.  

OBAT Canada has a variety of educational programs available for our beneficiaries. We provide pre-school, elementary and high school education for the children in the Saidpur camps. In addition, we offer a tutorial center to help support the students, as well as a vocational center where we offer skills development courses to support the people of the camp in finding employment and creating a sustainable living for themselves. 

Having success in secondary education in Bangladesh often requires students to supplement their time in class with tutoring.  This is often quite expensive and can exceed half the monthly income of a family at a refugee camp.  At OBAT Canada, we do not want to just facilitate access to education but rather to facilitate successful education.  Our tutoring centre exists to help us achieve this goal.

Will I get information on the students? 

Donors who commit at least $100 or sign up for recurring monthly payments will receive a one-pager from OBAT Canada providing information on one of the students who has benefited from the educational programs. The report will provide pictures as well as some information on the student and how your donation has impacted their lives.