Battling Discrimination in Pakistan

 This building is coming to life with new training programs, due to a new partnership between ARDF and the Diocese of Lahore, Pakistan.

This building is coming to life with new training programs, due to a new partnership between ARDF and the Diocese of Lahore, Pakistan.

“This Training Changed My Life

Lahore, Pakistan

 
 Children at the Christian Vocational Center in Lahore are taught valuable, marketable skills, to allow them to rise above the discrimination they face in the broader society.

Children at the Christian Vocational Center in Lahore are taught valuable, marketable skills, to allow them to rise above the discrimination they face in the broader society.

Have you ever faced discrimination? Has someone looked down at you for any reason?

Each of us has felt this at times. In Pakistan, extreme Islamization has specifically led to increased discrimination against Christians. Many children are orphaned when their parents are killed or are forced into Muslim marriages. Seventy-five percent live below the poverty line. Without access to education, these children will grow up with limited economic options which means they will remain impoverished. 

It is easy to feel outrage at this injustice. However, because of a new partnership between ARDF and the Anglican Church in Pakistan, you can also feel hope.

The Anglican Church in Lahore built the Christian Vocational Training Center with funds from the Barnabas Fund. Now ARDF will partner with the Diocese of Lahore to equip the school and to provide on-site medical care. The vocational school will offer one year of training in automobile technology and electrical work (for boys) and driving and stitching (for girls). After completing the training, students will receive help securing jobs or they will receive seed money to start their own businesses. At-risk and vulnerable children will receive free or subsidized housing at the Center. 

This project also emphasizes health and on-site healthcare, a critical part of the project. Students will be seen monthly by a doctor and nurse visiting the school. In addition, the Diocese will organize a community outreach program including mobile health clinics and medical camps. These will serve both Christians and Muslims in the community, helping to dispel the negative opinions of Christians.

Despite the hostile environment in Pakistan, this vocational school will provide a safe place for Christians to grow in faith.

My family could not afford to pay for my school fees, but thank God I got admitted to Christian Vocational Training Center. I enrolled for one year training as an electrician. This training changed my life because I became a better person who loves Christ. I started my own electric repair shop in Narowal and now earn an average of Pakistan Rupee. 25,000 ($240) per month. … We now afford basic things that we could not buy. I thank Diocese of Lahore for giving me this chance to apply my skills.   – Rafique Masih, Narowal, Punjab province, Pakistan

Whenever you feel someone has slighted you, or held an unfair belief about you, please remember to pray for these students in Pakistan, for whom the church is now providing much needed hope and opportunity.

How to contribute? $250 gives one student a vocational education.
 

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Christine Jones