"The Optimists" is a self-motivated, volunteer driven US based charity organization. Principal Head quarter is in New York and the principal branch office is in Dhaka, Bangladesh.
- It was founded in October 6, 2000 in New York, USA.
- It is a 501 (C) (3) organization and contribution is tax exempt (US resident only).
- It is also registered with good standing with the NYS "Charities Bureau.
- It is duly registered as a NGO in Bangladesh.
CURRENT PROGRAMS OF THE OPTIMISTS
- Current program: 1. Child Sponsorship Program (CSP): 5 years program Child Sponsorship Program is a charitable effort by donors aimed at providing food, clothing, education, tuition, books and medical care to the needy school children of dispossessed families through the 6th grade to the 10th grade of studies. IT MUST BE COSTING A FORTUNE! Only $135.00 USD or equivalent a year can change the future of the sponsored children.
- Current program: 2. SPECIAL SPONSORSHIP PROGRAM (SSP): 6 YEARS PROGRAM. Special Sponsorship program is a charitable effort by donors aimed at providing financial assistance to the meritorious and scholar children of the dispossessed families who achieved GPA-5 in the SSC and willing to continue the education to earn a College /Post Graduate degree or Medical degree (MBBS) will be primarily nominated for this Special Sponsorship Program (SSP). The main objective is to help a child of dispossessed or underprivileged family to obtain a Post Graduate degree in Science, Engineering and Technology, English language, Law, Business administration or a Medical degree (MBBS) only from a Government University or Government Medical College. Only $310.00 USD or equivalent a year to provide financial assistance to the sponsored children under SSP.
- Funding & Support The Optimists run its different programs including Child Sponsorship Program (CSP) and Special Sponsorship Program (SSP) with the money the sponsors or a donor donates. We spend a little amount of the child sponsorship donation for project management and most of that money is spent directly for the benefit of the needy. Organization's other expenses are met by the donation collected from the patrons and volunteers. Though The Optimists faced temporary shortage of funds several times for not being able to collect sponsorship donation on time or few sponsorship drop offs, the programs was always uninterrupted.
WHO IS A CHILD SPONSOR?
Willing donors sponsors a child in Bangladesh under the child sponsorship program thus becoming a sponsor. The sponsor's yearly donation of $135.00 USD or equivalent is utilized to support each of sponsored children through ten years of his/her education.
WHAT DOES THE CHILD SPONSORSHIP OR SPECIAL SPONSORSHIP PROGRAMS ACHIEVE?
- Among other things it:
- Keeps the child out of street.
- Saves the child from mal-nutrition.
- Keeps the child healthy.
- Provides education.
- Saves the child from being abused and from forced labor.
- Gives the child a hope and a future.
- Transforms a hapless liability into a contributing asset of the nation.
NOMINATION OF CHILDREN UNDER CHILD SPONSORSHIP PROGRAM
Children are nominated from underprivileged, distressed, dispossessed and deprived families. Careful attention also given to the vulnerable child who will likely be involved in child labor.
The child enrolled in class 6 (grade) in a Junior or High School with 75% marks in the National Annual Examination of the 5th Grade Students are considered for nomination only.
Child must be a permanent resident (domicile) of the concerned district area.
Child must not be a relative (close or distant) of any director or volunteer of the organization.
First priority: An orphan child (both parents deceased) or; father passed away, mother married again and the child is dispossessed; or mother passed away and father married again and the child dispossessed.
Second priority: An orphan child (only father deceased) leading to the mother and the child is being dispossessed.
Third priority: Divorced / Separated parent, father married again or is disabled either physically or mentally leading to the mother and child are being dispossessed.
SPECIAL SPONSORSHIP PROGRAM (SSP): 6 YEARS PROGRAM.
Special Sponsorship program is a charitable effort by donors aimed at providing financial aid to the meritorious and scholar children of the dispossessed families who achieved GPA-5 in the SSC examination and willing to continue the education to earn a College or Graduate degree or Medical degree (MBBS) will be primarily nominated for this Special Sponsorship Program (SSP).
The main objective is to help a child of dispossessed or underprivileged family to obtain a Post Graduate degree in Science, Engineering and Technology, English language, Law, Business administration or a Medical degree (MBBS).
IS THERE ANY LIMITATIONS ON NUMBERS OF CHILDREN A SINGLE DONOR CAN SPONSOR UNDER CSP OR SSP?
NO. As a matter of fact, more the better.
- The donor is provided with full details of the sponsored child/children.
- Periodic progress report on the sponsored child/children is provided to the sponsors.
- The sponsors may establish direct contact with their sponsored child/children and monitor their progress
- Annual audited report is made available for scrutiny
WHAT PERCENTAGE OF THE DONATED AMOUNT GOES TO CARRY THE MANAGEMENT COST?
NONE! "The Optimists" is UNIQUE from the stand point that the entire organization is totally managed and run 90% by volunteers with no fiscal remuneration and the rest is done by a few employees. About 20% of the donation of CSP or SSP is utilized for the costs of the management. The rest of management costs are funded separately by collecting other donation and hosting yearly fund raising event.
HOW LONG HAS "THE OPTIMISTS" BEEN IN OPERATION?
Founded in October 6, 2000. The first field level child sponsorship project was hosted in January 2001 with about 54 children in Moulvibazar District, Bangladesh.
WHAT IS THE TRACK RECORD OF THE OPTIMISTS?
Within a short span of years (since October 2000), "The Optimists", through the spontaneous support, encouragement and tireless efforts of the Sponsors and volunteers, has been able to successfully launch its operation in a few districts in Bangladesh.
DOES "THE OPTIMISTS" HAVE ANY RELIGIOUS OR POLITICAL AFFILLIATION?
NO. "The Optimists" is neither affiliated nor oriented to any political or religious organizations. It is founded on the basis of universal philosophy of humanity: Help the poor, help the needy, help the helpless, help orphans and the widows.
HOW DO "THE OPTIMISTS " MONITOR ITS ACTIVITIES?
"The Optimists" has 6 district offices and a Bangladesh branch office at Dhaka. There are volunteers including physicians in all the areas that it operates. The volunteer monitor the disbursement of the benefits, progress of the sponsored children in their schools and their health care. The district committees of the volunteers report their observations and assessments regularly to the Bangladesh branch office.
IS THERE ANY SALARIED EMPLOYEES IN FIELD OFFICES?
There are one salaried Secretary cum Accountant and an Office Attendant in all district offices and also in the Bangladesh branch office who are responsible to maintain office records, bookkeeping and accounting records. The Bangladesh branch office, in turn, keeps the head quarters in USA informed and consults with it on a regular basis.
WHAT IS THE FUTURE?
There are 64 districts in Bangladesh. "The Optimists" has started operating in few of the districts already. With the help of the sponsors and the volunteers, "The Optimists" expects to reach at least 15 districts by 2015.
If you are child sponsor and wants to meet your child in your next trip to Bangladesh, please let us know before you leave or directly contact our Bangladesh branch office at Dhaka.
HOW CAN YOU HELP?
The Optimists constantly needs your financial support to achieve its goal, irrespective of your ethnic, national or religious background. Tax-deductible donation will be for the benefits of distress children. In addition, we also request you to contribute, financially and/or otherwise. Contributions are tax-deductible as permitted by IRS Codes (US residents only). You can pay any donation including Child Sponsorship donation through our website (http://www.theoptimists.org) via PayPal.
- Donate funds including Child Sponsorship Program (CSP) donation, Special Sponsorship Program (SSP) donation or Disaster relief donation to "The Optimists". Your donation allows us to free a child from poverty and exploitation and give them a chance for education and a better life. It's amazing how so little can have a large impact on the life of a child.
- Join the volunteer team, become a general Member, Donor Member or donor Supporter of The Optimists.
- General Member: An individual who volunteer (must be a sponsor of a child under CSP) for the organization for 6 months may apply for the general membership to the Principal Executive Committee. The recommendation of the Board of Directors is also required. The one time application fee (non refundable) is $500.00 and monthly membership donation. is $10.00.
- Donor Member: A donor member will be an honorable donor and a member of the organization. Yearly membership donation: $500.00.
- Advertisement: Support us by placing an advertisement into our annual magazine "The New Hope" or become sponsor of our yearly events' Annual General Meeting and Annual Fund Raising Event.
To be a volunteer, general member, donor member or donor supporter or advertisement: please contact any of our nearest office by phone, fax or e-mail. For more information, please contact us.
Offices and contacts information of The Optimists
- Chairman: Sarwar B Salam, MBA, CPA
- Tel: 718 436 4601
- Cell: 718 598 3294
- Country Director, Bangladesh
- Major General (Retd) Abdus Salam Chowdhury, ndc
- Tel: 011 880 1819263191