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.
(Update Sorry due to a technicality some images are missing we are in the process of retrieving these images)
By – Shamim Masih
I report back to you on the BPCA aid distribution for the flood affected Pakistani Christians near the Korang Nala (river). During a previous visit we had provided food and medicines to fifteen Christian families from the most affected areas. However, there were many more families in need of our support so we called for further funds. With thanks to God we received better donations then our first appeal and more substantial work was made possible. Many people lost their employment through simply not arriving at work during the floods (employment law is rarely adhered to in Pakistan and unscrupulous employers will terminate on whim), also some businesses collapsed due to flood damaged property or produce destruction. Coupled with the loss of savings (hidden in homes, as banks are not used by the poor of Pakistan) and most of their possessions, the cumulative affect has been debilitating poverty. This community is used to hardships and has survived on very little for years, but this loss has been hugely demoralising.
On the last occasion a widower Suraya Bibi was distraught after she had lost the dowry for her daughters marriage in the floods. A dowry is the responsibility of a girls family and is a collection of items such as furniture and homeware for the use of their daughter and her husband after marriage. In Pakistani Culture there is a great emphasis on a dowry and marriages can be refused or annulled for failure to produce one. Moreover it brings great shame to a family and girls who are refused a marriage after engagement are usually stigmatised and find it hard to find further suitors.
A gentleman gave us a substantial donation towards the dowry which we used to good purpose and bought two quilts, two mattresses and two pillows all of high quality which is what is expected for a dowry. We also bought a Charpai (string bed) and two chairs which are to be delivered directly to the home of the widower. The daughter and the mother have expressed great gratitude and have written a letter of thank you to Wilson Chowdhry and the donation provider. This will be sent to them in private. We hope to take pictures of the wedding in due course and to share the joy of this young daughters marriage to her new partner later in a further post.
Food is a basic necessity and many of the victims are finding it hard to feed themselves as food prices have risen due to the loss of produce during the floods. Many have lost their work or have not been paid as their landlords have made no income, due to the destruction of their food crops. We ensured that another 15 families were provided food items, and our bags include; cooking oil, best quality rice, rusks, black tea, biscuits, noodles, milk, sugar, National vermicelli and grams. We also served them with tea and biscuits while distributing the material. We also provided cold and flu medicines as the climate has dropped in temperature.
Homes are falling to pieces and yet these victims of a natural disaster continue to live in these dangerous abodes, through lack of any alternative or support. We have started repair works to two homes which is all we could afford to do with the funds we received and hope that more of you might see fit to support our work to restore a reasonable quality of life to this community, who have no recourse to government support and have been forgotten.
The winter season is fast approaching and the temperature in Islamabad and its surroundings is comparable to the colder regions of England and Scotland if not worse. It snows in Islamabad almost every year and most of the houses are in no fit state for winter. The BPCA is therefore continuing its aid programme and also hopes to give out Christmas treats to the children. If you would like to contribute please use the details below:
The BPCA is continuing our disaster recovery fund for victims of the flood. If you would like to contribute to our relief work our bank details are as follows:
Sort Code: 20-67-90 Account number: 63468976 Bank: Barclays
Ref: Pakistan Flood Appeal
Alternatively if you would like to send an immediate donation please use the pay-pal facility on the top right hand corner of our blog, or simply send a cheque made payable to the BPCA to our address; 57 Green Lane, Ilford, Essex, IG1 1XG.
With your support we hope to change the lives of millions of Christians in Pakistan.