Lahore: Church opens a sewing centre and dispensary for new Covid-19 poor
by Shafique Khokhar

Archbishop Sebastian Shaw inaugurates two new structures at the Renewal Center in the Youhanabad district, where there is a strong Christian presence. The initiative focuses on the condition of women, who have been even more penalized by the pandemic.

Lahore (AsiaNews) - A sewing centre and a medical dispensary were inaugurated on 1 June by the Archbishop of Lahore, Abp. Sebastian Shaw, at the Renewal Center in Youhanabad, an area of ​​the city with a strong Christian presence. The aim of these structures is to improve the economic conditions of Christian women and facilitate access to basic health services.

The dispensary will be led by Sister Ruth, of the Franciscan Tertiary Sisters, a local congregation in Pakistan also known as the Sisters of Mariamabad, which was founded by Father Hermon in 1917. The Franciscan Tertiary Sisters, already present at the Renewal Center, operate in the field of education also through hostels and offering health services to the poor who cannot afford it.

Father Gulzar, pastor of St John’s church and vicar general of the archdiocese of Lahore, commented on the initiative by saying that as religious leaders these centers are an attempt by religious leaders to respond to the needs of the people who have lost ì work and are in serious economic difficulties.

“The main objective - explains Fr. Gulzar - is to promote the condition of women by teaching them a trade that can allow them to support their families”.

Blessing the new structures, Archbishop Shaw asked all present to give thanks to God who cares for His people and to pray "for these sisters of ours who working here will raise a new awareness and for all the sick so that they can find care and a healthier life ".

Ms. Perveen, one of the beneficiaries of the sewing centre, thanked the Archbishop for the opportunity. She said that “as women in this period we find much less opportunities. This is why we are grateful for initiatives like this which enable us to make money from our work instead of having to ask others for help”.

There are currently 10 sewing machines available. Perveen assured her of her prayers for all the benefactors who made their purchase possible and she expressed the hope that other women will soon join the initiative to improve the lives of their families.