Our vision is to create a network of Pakistanis united in Christ, focused on better quality of life, fellowship and religious freedom for Christians in Pakistan and the UK.
In June 2015, Wilson Chowdhry, Chairman of the British Pakistani Christian Association, travelled to Uganda to oversee the training of our senior officer Mehwish Bhatti to certify her as a trainer in Business Skills and Entrepreneurship.
The training went extremely well and as a result Mehwish was made responsible to initiate the courses free of charge to rural communities in Pakistan. However, the sheer intensity of violence meted out on Christians since the training, debilitated our group from progressing in these courses. Simply responding to the immediate needs of victims left us fighting fires rather than developing communities and strengthening them. In December, as we remembered the hope that Christ gives us during the period that Christians across the globe have chosen to commemorate Jesus' birth, we set aside time for our first Business Skills course.
The course provides essential business skills with a strong Christian influence, enabling participants to grasp the concept of profit, budgeting, and how to obtain finance with a good conscience. Those that completed the course submitted proposals for new businesses which our partner, a huge global Christian charity, will review and select proposals which exude the ability to attract start-up grants. This means the training could ultimately help remove the deprived communities out of their current dire poverty into a position of financial stability and progress. Thus to our best extent, we have provided those under our care with the greatest possible Christmas gift at our disposal - the potential to earn for themselves to a place of self-sufficiency and the return of their dignity.
Those who were invited to attend the course were extremely poor Christian people including many Lahore bomb victims for whom we currently provide aid. We invited Elishba Bibi, a mother who was beaten so badly while expecting a fourth child that she miscarried. In addition, several participants were from families who were brutally affected by blasphemy allegations and incarcerations.
Elishba Bibi said:
"Women very rarely get opportunities like this in Pakistan, I was honoured to be on the course. I have previously worked as a private beautician and I trust that with my new knowledge and skills I will be able to work hard and eventually start up my own salon."
There were 15 participants who started the course out of which 12 were finally certificated. Mehwish Bhatti our training instructor said:
"It was very encouraging to see that people participated in the training class with full passion. Some of them took time off from work just to attend the course. The training started with prayer and by giving honour to God, we believe that God is the source of all blessings."
"During the training sessions I put great emphasis on involving all attendees in the training. I used the skills taught to me such as cross conversation to find out their business plans. I also used a range of learning techniques such as role play, Q&A, presentations and much more. The participants were simply brilliant and I cannot wait to see them start up their new businesses."
The names of the successful participants are as follows:
BPCA hopes to expand the skills training course across Pakistan and to broaden out so we are reaching outside our current portfolio. We will be working with Christian communities where deprivation is threatening communities with poor health and destitution and hope our work will empower Christians and give them a more stable lifestyle and better position in Pakistan's heavily discriminatory society.
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To make this work we need your help. If you would like to contribute to this work, please give what you can afford, no matter how small, and join with us in making a difference in the lives of Pakistani Christians.
Your gift can be sent using these bank details:
Sort Code: 20-44-22
Account number: 43163318
Ref: Skills Training Course
For international donations please use these details:
IBAN: GB62 BARC 20442243163318
Alternatively you can give via PayPal, our email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cheques should be made payable to the BPCA to our address: 57 Green Lane, Ilford, Essex, IG1 1XG.
BRITISH PAKISTANI CHRISTIAN ASSOCIATION is a trading name for BRITISH PAKISTANI CHRISTIANS LTD which is a charity entered onto the Register of Charities with the Registered Charity Number 1163363
With your support we hope to change the lives of millions of Pakistani Christians.
The course was translated into Urdu
Each session was opened with a prayer.
Participants prayed together.
15 Participants started the course.
Lahore bomb victim Sikander Inayat with his prosthetic eye paid for by the BPCA
Lahore bomb victim Qaisor Pervaiz who is being provided for during his one year convalescence.
Elishba Bibi lost a child through miscarriage after a beating while pregnant
Attendees learnt new business skills.
Interactivity made learning fun.
Naveed Aziz prayed over the group.