In 2006 Aim for Change extended its work into Pakistan. Travelling 2,000 miles around the country in a pick up truck, Ruth James visited potential project sites. Sadly Pakistan continues to have problematic areas of conflict. Commencement of work entailed 2 schools of education in the Brick Yards of Faisalabad; support for a Christian refugee Colony; and aid for the 2005 earthquake area of Bata Mori near Balakot in the north of Pakistan. Now in 2011, many are still suffering the after effects of this quake.
Refugee Colony also known as Shopper’s City
A refugee camp situated on the outskirts of Pakistan is known by the name of Shopper’s City because many people live under plastic and old cloth. When the charity began working in this camp there was no fresh water, electricity or sewerage waste. Now many of the dwellings have water, toilets and access to a sewerage system. Many of the meagre dwellings are brick built by those families of the colony who have menial jobs; roofing is provided for by the charity. Widows with children receive a complete basic brick dwelling. Efforts are being made to secure the land of this squat so that we can drill for fresh water enabling the whole camp to have this facility. A small percentage of people living in this camp are of the Muslim faith, the charity also supports them.
Recently a home was constructed for a widow woman.
2012 and construction continues for the people of this colony.
Brick Yards – Faisalabad
We now have 4 areas of education for children and adults. The programme is known as ‘School of the Kilns for Poor Children supported by Aim for Change.’ Each family living in the yards has to make 1,000 bricks per day to cover a financial loan; because of their illiteracy there is no understanding of the amount paid back to the brick yard owner. These debts have become knows as ‘a generation debt,’ hence one of the reasons for education. Eventually when the debt is paid, families, if they choose, can move on from the brick yards. Individual families receive specific support from the charity.
2012 - commencement of sewing project which will generate an income to enable further government education for the children.
In October 2010 the orphanage, Hope of Life Foundation for 5 underprivileged children has began with 5 children. It is now time for a permanent home to be constructed for the children and this will commence shortly. A plot of land has now been purchased and construction of an orphanage/nursery school has begun! 3 more children have recently joined the orphanage .
In July 2011 two adjoining districts in northern Pakistan Peshawar/Nowshera were visited; this is where the Karbul River reached a height of 22ft above the average flow of water and flooded all in its path, hundreds of thousands of lives were lost. This is a fast flowing and angry river joining the Indus River as they continue to flow further south. There was little or no sign of aid and the people were living in squats without amenities.
It was a sight which has affected me greatly, through a 3 way interpretation the refugees said one word ‘forgotten’ we hired a lorry and took one camp a great deal of food, but this is not sustainable. The people have no land where we could begin to build for them. In another area where people are able to rebuild their lives, through the generosity of two Yorkshire schools the charity donated 2 fresh water boreholes.
Other refugee colonies have been supported by the donation of fresh water boreholes; high in the mountains of Kashmir we support a clinic and have provided a fresh water borehole for the community as a whole; we are looking to commence a sewing programme here for young women with no means of earning a living. In June 2010 a new exciting project began, that of an orphanage which is to be called ‘Hope of Life.’
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