Bonded labour is the most common form of modern-day slavery where people are forced to work in order to pay off debt. Labourers often inherit debt from their parents and are exploited and enslaved for years. In Pakistan, many brick kiln workers and their families have worked for generations as bonded labourers. Today you have the chance to help these families break free from this cycle, and build a better, hope filled, future.

There are over three million victims of modern-day slavery in Pakistan.

SOURCE: Global Slavery Index

Brick kiln labourers in Pakistan are forced to produce a high quota of 1,500 or more bricks every day, crouching for hours at a time in searing summer heat and bitter winter cold, backs aching as they repeatedly pack and empty the metal moulds. Although it is illegal to employ someone under the age of sixteen in Pakistan, many children work with their parents to help them to finish their daily quota of bricks. This means that they miss out on the opportunity to go to school, perpetuating a cycle of poverty and illiteracy from generation to generation.

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What is bonded labour?

Bonded labour is a form of modern-day slavery where people living in poverty, with few opportunities for work, are forced, or tricked, into taking up extremely low paid jobs and loans from those they work for, in order to survive. Most, or all, of their pay then goes towards paying off these debts, which carry with them high levels of interest, making it impossible for them to leave. Those who do try to flee often face violence or intimidation. With no access to education, high levels of illiteracy and no alternative, families are left enslaved by the deep-rooted bonded labour system. Often these debts then pass from one generation to the next, leaving children to repay the family debt.


The good news is that our ministry partner, ChrisFon, has been reaching out to families working in the brick kilns. Based on their experience of the bonded labour system, they have developed a breakthrough approach to working with these families.

Through a pilot project with two brick kilns they have created a Community Development Programme that provides education, skills training, literacy classes, basic budgeting, and financial and mathematical skills. Income generating projects such as sewing, small plot gardening and animal husbandry have been made available to the families to help them increase their income and their standard of living. And, they have heard the good news of the Gospel too!

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Asif’s story

Asif (pictured with his daughter) is married with five children and has been in debt since he started working in the brick kiln five years ago. Living in debt was a way of life and he didn’t know how to manage his meagre income. He and his wife were illiterate and didn’t understand the importance of sending their children to school. As a result of two years of hard work by one of ChrisFon’s pastors, Asif and his family are on a new path to a debt free and godly life, praise God! Asif said,

“Before you came to help us we lived with no hope for a better future. We did not know God. Now I thank God that we can say the Lord’s Prayer, recite Bible verses and pray. We feel our house has been blessed and restored.”

Key successes of the pilot project with two brick kilns

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  • 20 families (111 people) helped to come out of debt bondage.
  • 13 house churches formed by households in the two brick kilns.
  • Six children started to attend school (plus 11 are planning to when they are old enough).
  • All 20 families are now practising some sort of income generating activities.

HOW YOU CAN HELP

Today we are inviting you to be part of the exciting next phase - to implement a Community Development Programme across two receptive brick kilns in Pakistan over the next two years, impacting 40 families.

By donating today, with a one-off gift or a monthly commitment, you will help to bring freedom to modern-day slaves in Pakistan.

How will your support help change lives?

• Families in the brick kiln communities will experience debt reduction.
• Families will have alternative and added sources of income.
• Adult & child literacy levels will increase. Children will register for school.
• Families will be aware of their legal rights.
• Health conditions for families in the brick kilns will improve.
• Christian brick kiln communities will be developed.
• House churches will be formed by households in each kiln.
• Growing and vibrant Christian faith & discipleship in the communities.

Other Ways You Can Help

PRAY:

Please remember ChrisFon and the people of Pakistan in your prayers. Follow us on social media for weekly prayer updates.

SHARE:

Why not share these stories with your church, family or friends. If you would like to know more, please contact us.

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Thank you for your support and prayers!