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Turning rags into riches!

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Aftab Masih (40 years-old) was accused of blasphemy for drinking water from a local  Mosque, an act that was said to have contaminated the water with evil spirits. Aftab lived near a local mosque and like many other local people, his family regularly drew water from the water tap outside the mosque as no other clean water was available in the community.  Mr Masih like many other local people paid for the water that was received from the mosque. He narrowly escaped an extra-judicial killing with the help of the BPCA after a Muslim lynch mob assembled to murder him. Aftab lived at a place called Railway Colony in Wazirabad, in the district of Gujranwala with his wife  and five children. Due to the blasphemy charges Aftab was forced to flee his home and stayed in hiding for six months in Peshawar a city many miles away.



Aftab greatly missed his family during his period away and long for a time when he could return to the community. BPCA installed a  water pump at Aftab's house for the whole local Christian community to utilise. The water pump now serves 30-40 Christain families who were also drinking water form the mosque and under risk of persecution. BPCA advocated for Aftab with the local Muslim community and the local Imam, and after a period of voluntary banishment of six months it was agreed he could return home.
 

BPCA installed the water pump in Wazirabad which serves 30-40 christian families

Sadly due to the incident Aftab lost his job as a tailor master at a local garment shop. However BPCA taught Aftab and his wife Samina (35 years-old) on a three-day business training session which was held in Yohannabad. The course used biblical based business strategies to empower local entrepreneurs. 


Aftab and Samina with Lead officer and Business trainer Mehwish Bhatti


Despite initial apprehension with the help of our business advisor and trainer Mehwish Bhatti, AftabMasih was able to open a tailor shop.  As a gift for attending the course participants were provided with a business start-up loan. With their start-up loan Aftab and Samina were able to purchase two stitching machines, one automatic and one manual machine (ensuring work can continue during load shedding). They also bought many other necessary accessories required to initiate their business, which operates form their home.

Aftab had previously worked as a tailors assistant for last 14 years but he lacked experienced of working independently. He said:

"The entrepreneurial skills class was very helpful, it taught me to understand the strategies needed for opening a successful business. I am also able to continually seek advice from Mehwish Bhatti that has enabled me to make a very successful business of my own. I thank God for this opportunity to free myself from abject poverty."

Aftab has started his business in the spare room of his house and he believes that by the Grace of God, he will expand this in the near future.


Aftab Masih and his Mrs working together in their tailor-shop


Samina believes support from the BPCA has provided her family with a real chance at changing their lives. She said:

"I am very grateful to the BPCA for supporting my family financially for six months and for helping my husband with his return to our family. Without them I would not have been able to afford to send my children to school - we are all so grateful.  The water pump they installed is a great help not only to us but to all the Christian community this has given us all a morale boost. Now all our families are are benefiting from clean water from a safe location."

She added:

My husband and I are now earning a good wage without the insults that our Muslim employers used to give. We are also able to work together we we enjoy. Caring for the children is easier as I work from home.  Now I can really focus on getting them educated to a decent leveI. Through a good relationship with our local Church communities we have secured regular stitching orders.  Moreover contact details of other churches provided by the BPCA are helping us grow our business."

If you would like to donate to our work and save and improve lives of victims like this family. Then please(click here).  

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