Joy at AsiaNews' gift: food and clothes for brick factory workers (PHOTO-VIDEO)
by Shafique Khokhar

Another distribution thanks to the generosity of AsiaNews readers, with a further 7 families added to the recipients of aid. Some readers are ready to cancel the debt that families have incurred with their bosses, for hunger or for medicine. Kaneez Bibi, 60, widow: “God looked at our pains and needs! And he sent you to help us! Please, continue to help us at least until the factories reopen!”.

Faisalabad (AsiaNews) - “In this difficult moment, Jesus Christ, our saviour, listened to our prayer and sent you to support us. I have firm faith in Him. We must keep praying and He answers! He answers!". With tears in her eyes and feelings of joy, Mrs. Kaneez Bibi, 60, widow and mother of four children, receives the gifts of food and clothing, distributed yesterday with these words. The gifts are the fruit of the campaign launched by AsiaNews for aid to workers in the brick factories of Kamalpur (Faisalabad).

The campaign was launched before Christmas and was intended to help get food for the festive season and buy warm clothes for the children of 45 families working in brick factories. Due to the winter and Covid, the factories are closed and these people have not received wages for months. Misery drives them to borrow more from their bosses in an ever-increasing spiral of debt literally enslaving them to this type of work - considered among the lowest in the country - for generations.

AsiaNews correspondents had already provided for a distribution of food on 22 December.

The generosity of AsiaNews readers has allowed a new distribution: a gift package and money to buy new clothes for the children. The gift package contains: flour, spices, legumes, oil, sugar, tea, rice, soap and the quantity can support a family of 4 for 15 days.

Before the distribution, all the families gathered and prayed for all those who support the AsiaNews campaign. They also thanked Almighty God for the miraculous gift received and hope that these gifts can continue at least until the brick factories reopen. Some AsiaNews readers have made it known that they are willing to offer not only food and clothing, but also to pay off the debt that these families have with their bosses.

Meanwhile, yesterday, learning of the free distribution, seven other families, also brick workers, joined in asking for aid and they too received it.

One of them is Maqsood Masih, 40, father of a daughter, who tells AsiaNews his story: “I have been working in a brick factory for 16 years. I used to work for the day, but then when I got married I had financial problems and didn't know how to solve them. I asked my relatives but found no support. Eventually, I had to take out a loan from the owner of the brick factory and have been forced to work in this factory with my family ever since. So I made a debt of 15 thousand rupees [77 euros]. But now the debt has grown to 85 thousand rupees [436 euros]. Working in bricks is not easy and borrowing money from the boss is a curse. I only have a 16-year-old daughter. We couldn't send her to school because we didn't have any money and she now works with my wife and me in the brick factory. We are really very poor! Every year the factory is closed during the rainy and winter seasons. Since last year, Covid has also been involved, which oppresses and destroys us. Thanks to you at AsiaNews, who make our voices heard for support. We really need these food packs and warm clothes. We wish you all prosperity and blessings and we pray for you every day”.


Kaneez Bibi, the 60-year-old widow, also joins in thanksgiving and prayer: “God looked at our pains and needs! And he sent you to help us! Please, continue to help us at least until the factories reopen!”.

Kaneez Bibi says: “My husband died a few years ago. Before he died, we managed to marry three of our children, who now live on their own, far away. I, on the other hand, after the death of my husband I was increasingly in need and there was no salary in my family. I now live with my only unmarried child, Naeem Masih: he works in the brick factory and earns a living for him and me. But he also has to find money for the medicines I need and other needs in the house. So he had to ask for a loan from the factory owner. We need loans to eat: due to winter and Covid-19, factories are closed. Covid has ruined the lives of us poor!”.

Please consider donating to the AsiaNews campaign “ "Pakistan: Help Brick Factory Jobless",

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