October 2020

Freedom from Modern-Day Slavery

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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 families and are exploited and enslaved for years. 

That’s where the ‘Self Sustainability’ section of our Freedom Gifts catalogue comes in. Last year, 26 gifts were purchased totalling nearly £1,000! Thanks to your generosity, funds have been sent to our ministry partners who work hard to bring hope, sustainability and dignity to those who have been struggling for generations.

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One example which has stood out to us this year is our ministry partner in Pakistan, Christian Foundation (ChrisFon). They have been coming alongside brick kiln workers to understand their situation, provide practical help and share the love of Jesus.

In Pakistan, many people have worked for generations as bonded labourers. They are forced to produce a high quota of bricks, usually around 1,500 - 2,500 per 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. 

Yet, thanks in part to the money raised through Freedom Gifts, ChrisFon is equipped
to bring freedom to modern-day slaves! The following story shows the amazing impact
the gifts featured here could have on people’s lives:

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Juginder and his family work at a local brick kiln and are completely dependent on its owner. If a member of  Juginder’s family gets sick, he must rely on loans from the brick kiln owner to be able to afford medical care. The brick kiln owner will lend money to Juginder, but with very high interest, keeping him and his family indebted.

ChrisFon missionaries intentionally build relationships with brick kiln workers like Juginder. Through ChrisFon’s training programme, Juginder and his family have been taught how to advocate for themselves, develop an additional source of income & save money. They have been taught how to raise chickens and are now able to save a small amount each month from the sale of eggs.

One of ChrisFon’s workers said: "We have encouraged Juginder to talk to the brick kiln owner and ask him to record the amount of bricks laid so that the labourers are paid correctly for the work they have done. Now wherever this practice has started, we are hoping that cheating by brick kiln owners will eventually vanish."

This practical level of advocacy and training in additional income generation is making a difference in Juginder’s life and the lives of many other brick kiln workers in Pakistan.

The following Freedom Gifts support this amazing work of ChrisFon: