12/22/2020, 13.02
PAKISTAN
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Girls support their own orphanage with the help of Caritas Pakistan Karachi

by Shafique Khokhar

Caritas held a one-day workshop on candle making as part of its ‘Livelihood and Food Security Programme’ to help the institute as well as the girls’ future.

Karachi (AsiaNews) - Angel, 15, is an orphan. Her father Haroon Masih died when she was just 8 years old; her mother raised her and three brothers while working as a maid in various homes as a maid.

Angel worked at home and prepared food for her brothers. According to her grandmother, she had to learn to keep the house clean and cook because in a few months she would have had to do the same as her mother and work as a maid.

Speaking to AsiaNews, Angel expressed her deep feelings. With tears in his eyes, she thanked the Sisters of the Good Shepherd Convent who kept her and gave her a dignified life, because as a child she lived a very poor life, while the Sisters took her to school and taught her to live on her own.

Learning to make candles will help her support the institute where she lives and her future when she leaves this place.

Focusing on developing skills and raising funds for Christmas and in the future, Caritas Pakistan Karachi yesterday held a one-day workshop on candle making, in Karachi, as part of its ‘Livelihood  and Food Security Programme’ for girls and young women at the Good Shepherd Hostel. Fifteen girls and Sisters took part in the event.

The workshop’s goal was to teach and develop the entrepreneurial skills of inexperienced girls and young women and train them in the art and skill of making different candle patterns, in particular for Advent.

Sister Salma, who is in charge of the convent and the hostel of the orphanage, thanked the Caritas Karachi team and expressed her appreciation for their efforts to bring different skills to the community, especially to her convent.

The ability to make candles will surely help raise money at a difficult time for themselves and some of their benefactors because of the start of the pandemic.

Workshop coach Ms Poonam Shahzad and her assistant Saleem Daleep trained the girls from the orphanage. During the session, they made candles singing Christmas carols and celebrated Advent season.

Fozia Bahadur, 16, an orphan staying at the convent, said that Ms Shahzad and Mr Daleep taught her how to make candles in a very simple and effective way and this training will be useful to earn some money for the hostel.

She said “we will all make enough candles until New Year's to support the hostel (orphanage) during a financially rough time. We want this hostel to continue to help girls like us in the future.”

Fr John Mendonca, pastor at Karachi’s St Paul’s Church, suggested the idea to Caritas. He asked them to support and train the girls staying at the hostel to make candles to generate income for the future. He hopes that the girls can earn money not only for their hostel but also for their families.

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