07/01/2022, 18.29
PAKISTAN
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The Good Samaritan Resource Center helping Christians and Muslims in Faisalabad

by Shafique Khokhar

Ejaz Masih, a father of three, found himself in debt and forced to close his business. Thanks to the charity he was able to reopen a shop and supply it with goods. The charity is “converting jobless people into business people and borrowers into givers,” says the charity’s president, Rehan Farooq. Help goes to the marginalised with skills “without distinctions of faith, caste or social origin”.

Faisalabad (AsiaNews) – Ejaz Masih, a Christian vendor, recently faced serious financial woes.

Out of money and with no job, the father of three from Dawood Nagar, a suburb of Faisalabad (Punjab), knocked on the door of many Pakistani organisations in search of support, in vain.

One day, through word of mouth he heard about the Good Samaritan Resource Center (GSRC), and, after an extensive search online, he was impressed by its many humanitarian activities.

“I have no words to thank them enough,” he said speaking to AsiaNews. “I was jobless and had nothing to feed my children, but praise God, the Good Samaritans helped me to start my own business.”

He used to sell fruit and vegetables before he had to stop due to lack of funds. Unemployed, he was desperate and could not pay the children's fees and got into debts in order not to lose his home.

Given his situation, he turned to the charity and rapidly arranged a meeting, during which its president, Rehan Farooq, provided him with the much-needed help to restart his business.

The non-profit association helped him with an interest-free loan to be repaid in small installments over a year; this enabled him to find a shop to rent and supplies (fruit and vegetables) to sell. Now he can better take care of his family.

“I was jobless. Now, my business is established and I have lots of sacks to sell,” he said. Indeed, business is brisk.

The Good Samaritan Resource Center serves the needy without distinctions of faith, caste or social origin, explains Farooq, a Christian.

"We are converting jobless people into business people and borrowers into givers,” he told AsiaNews. “Our organisation always stands with marginalised people with skills”.

In the past two years, inspired by the principles and values of Christian charity, the GSRC has helped at least 30 families with interest-free loans.

“When the money is returned to us, we reinvest it to help other people,” Farooq explained, following the teachings of “the Good Samaritan of the Gospel”.

What is more, “We don’t serve only Christians, but also Muslims by helping them start small businesses”. In all, “we find in God the strength to continue our work.”

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