The mission of ChrisFon is to ‘Share the love of God through community development’. The ChrisFon team engages in poverty alleviation programmes that create the opportunity to demonstrate the Gospel. Projects focus on those most vulnerable including women, children, and bonded labourers in brick kilns and agriculture.
Bonded labour is a form of slavery in which people work for extremely low wages to pay off generational debts. Labourers often inherit debt from their families and are exploited and enslaved for years. In Pakistan, many brick kiln workers and their families have worked for generations as bonded labourers. They are forced to produce a high quota of 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. In Pakistan, it is illegal to employ someone under the age of 16 and yet many children work with their parents to help them to finish their daily quota of bricks. This means they miss out on the opportunity to go to school and so the cycle of illiteracy continues. The following statistics give an insight into the scale of injustice:
- Almost 70% of bonded labourers in Pakistan are children
- 1,000 is the average daily quota of bricks
- £5.52 is the average family income per day
- 14 is the average number of working hours per day
ChrisFon’s multi-prong approach to ministry brings hope, sustainability and dignity to those who have been struggling for generations.
Providing income generation opportunities including kitchen gardens, chickens, goats, sewing machines and stitching training. ChrisFon also educates labourers in personal financial management and debt management.
ChrisFon provides literacy training to tackle the high rates of illiteracy in families and help labourers to better understand their employment contracts. This also includes teaching brick kiln owners the importance of working relationships built on honesty and respect.
Weekly health training and health camps are run in order to educate people on good hygiene and tackle common problems that otherwise go undiagnosed.
ChrisFon leaders in Pakistan boldly share the Gospel, particularly supporting those who have converted from Islam and are persecuted for their faith as a result. ChrisFon provides safety while they train and disciple those who come to faith, helping them to re-engage with society as Christian leaders.
Pakistan is the world’s fifth-most populous country, with a population exceeding 212 million and it has the world’s second-largest Muslim population. Pakistan’s political history since independence has been characterised by periods of military rule, political instability and conflicts with India. The country continues to face challenging problems including overpopulation, poverty, illiteracy and corruption.