Faisalabad, AsiaNews readers' gifts to the brick factory jobless (PHOTO)
The first gift packages distributed for 26 families. Each package has enough food for 15 days. Before the distribution, the families prayed for AsiaNews and for all those who are supporting the aid campaign. Safia Bibi, 40, widow with four children: “I have no words to express my feelings of gratitude. Only people who live in misery like us can understand what it means to receive such a gift for our poor family”.
Faisalabad (AsiaNews) - “Thanks to all of you for your good heart and for the help you give to our poor families. Merry Christmas!” This is one of the thanks that AsiaNews correspondents received yesterday morning, when the first gift packages were delivered to the families of the unemployed in the brick factories in Kamalpur (Faisalabad).
About 10 days ago, AsiaNews launched the campaign to help 45 families marked by unemployment and poverty: all of their members worked in brick factories, with meagre wages and in a "slave like" conditions. Their situation has worsened because due to the pandemic and the consequent lockdown, the factories have closed, leaving all of these families – and in the country there are millions of unemployed in this sector - without wages, food, clothes for the winter. The only way out: to borrow money from their bosses, mortgaging the future of their families even more.
Yesterday the first gift packages were distributed to a group of 26 families. Each package contains flour, spices, legumes, oil, sugar, tea, rice, soaps; enough to support a family for 15 days.
Before the distribution, the families prayed for AsiaNews (photo 1) and for all those who are supporting this campaign, which helps them in this crucial period, with factories closed and the imminence of Christmas.
Sakhawat Masih, 35, father of two sons and three daughters, expresses his thanks for “having received such support from the People of God. I was worried because I was unable to provide food and clothing for my family this Christmas. I would have sought a loan from the brick factory owner, but now I'm only going to ask him for a small loan, to get some winter clothes for my children. I have been working in the brick factories since I was a child. I have always tried not to go into debt with the boss because I know that it is impossible for us to pay them back. Factories usually remain closed in winter and during rains. This year the pandemic has added to this. I had to borrow 80,000 rupees [about 410 euros] to meet my family's needs. After you take out the loan, you can't go anywhere or change jobs until you've paid off all the debt. I beg you: continue to support us until the factories reopen. Meanwhile, I pray for all those who help us and I wish them a happy Christmas”.
Safia Bibi, 40, has been a widow for some years: her husband died in a car accident. Safia is a mother of four children (two girls and two boys). "I have no words to express my feelings of gratitude," she told the AsiaNews correspondent. “Only people who live in misery like us can understand what it means to receive such a gift for our poor family. After my husband died, I continued to work in the brick factory with my two daughters aged 17 and 14. The two males are still small: they are 10 and 6 years old. We made every effort to support the family, but the situation of the Covid pandemic changed everything and drowned us in the deepest misery. In the midst of all these problems, preparing for Christmas was impossible for us. But what is impossible for men is possible for God. And He sent you to support us, so that we too can enjoy the feast of Christmas. Thanks to all of you for your good heart and for the help you give to our poor families. Merry Christmas!".
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