07/23/2021, 12.50
PAKISTAN
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Good Samaritans helping the poor in Faisalabad

by Shafique Khokhar

The Good Samaritan Resource Center International is an association that helps people facing difficult times due to COVID-19. Binyamin, who had lost his shoe sale business, is one of them.

 

Faisalabad (AsiaNews) – Restrictions aimed at containing the COVID-19 pandemic have caused serious economic damage in various parts of the world.

Where governments did not provide financial aid, street vendors and daily workers fell into extreme poverty.

In order to cope with the situation, the Good Samaritan Resource Center International (GSRCI) stepped in to provide food and money to those who lost their job or are unable to support their families.

One of those people is Binyamin, 53, a shoe vendor in Faisalabad, who was forced to sell off all his goods and close his business. Only after he got in touch with the GSRCI was he able to get back into selling shoes.

Binyamin and his wife moved to Faisalabad more than 20 years ago, initially working on construction sites. However, he aimed for better jobs so that his five children could study.

To this end, he started saving, and his wife Bushra got a job as a housemaid. Eventually, after setting aside a small amount of money, Binyamin was able start his business by buying only a few dozen shoes, but eventually he got a spot in weekly markets.

Later he expanded his activities by buying a loader rickshaw and selling shoes in other parts of the city. By then everything was going well until the COVID-19 pandemic broke out. Sales dropped, his wife and children, who worked as caterers at wedding halls, lost their job.

After selling off his merchandise, Binyamin was forced to sell his furniture to pay the rent and utility bills, and went back to work on construction sites, earning barely enough for two meals a day for his family.

Fortunately, he learnt about of the GSRCI, chaired by Rehan Masih, known as “the good Samaritan” in Faisalabad.

The group immediately assessed the urgent situation. After providing the family with food rations, Binyamin was given a one-month loan to restart his shoe sales job.

“The business is flourishing again and for this I am grateful to God and the GSRCI team,” he said. Some GSRCI people accompanied Binyamin and his wife to choose the new shoes to sell.

Rehan Masih told AsiaNews that he and his team are “committed to helping poor and oppressed families” and will continue to do so thanks to the help of donors.

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