Pakistan

 

 

GBM Hope Schools

 

In 2009 GBM began various ministries in the Punjab region of Pakistan. Among these were trade schools for women and community churches around Lahore. In 2012, GBM started its first primary school for slave children who work in the brickyards. As of July 2018, GBM had 14, tuition free, primary schools for slave children in Kasur, Pakistan. There are currently 600 students in these schools.

Poorest of the poor

 There are thousands of brickyards in Punjab, and each one has bond workers, or as Pakistani pastors and residents say, “Slaves”. The United Nations also recognizes that they are slaves. These are people whose parents or grandparents borrowed money from the brickyards but could not pay it off forcing their children and grandchildren into indentured servitude. These children are the poorest of the poor. Children, often as young as five years old, work twelve hours per day, six days per week. Yet, the brickyards are designed so that the workers go further and further into debt. Ultimately, families spend their entire lives making bricks.

 Education is the only way to allow these boys and girls to escape the vicious cycle of slavery. For this reason, GBM started the Hope Schools to educate children who live with their families in the brickyard.

Pakistan’s educational dilemma: 

The government of Pakistan’s spending on education is very low. In fact, the government of Pakistan does not provide any education for the slave children at all. According to a 2012 UNESCO report, Pakistan ranks 113th out of 120 countries in Education Development. It has the world’s second highest number of children out of school, and the report projected that by 2015 there would be 51 million illiterate adults. The problem in education is more glaring along gender lines, where fewer than half of the country’s females ever go to school.

GBMs newest project

As the number of Hope schools continues to grow many children are completing their primary schooling. Without continuing education in a secondary (grade 6 to 10) school, the children will not be fully educated to compete for well-paying jobs and may be forced to return to the brickyards.

In an effort to allow these children to continue their education, GBM is working to develop a secondary school for a group of slave children in Kasur, Pakistan. The secondary school will extend the existing elementary school program and give students the opportunity to complete their basic education, find paying jobs, and get out of slavery and poverty.

The secondary school will serve 250 students in a year-round program. The curriculum will comply with Pakistani education standards and provide studies in mathematics; Urdu and English; the language arts including reading and writing; social studies; science; and the arts. There will also be a Bible class. The school will try to included a vocational-technical component that will give students the skills necessary to secure a well-paying job upon completion of the program.

Long term goals

We anticipate the need for more primary and secondary schools in the different regions of Punjab to reach as many of the children in the brickyards (and possibly plantations) as possible. GBMs goal right now is to start at least 100 primary schools for children and enough secondary schools to accompany them.

Thank you for supporting GBM

These Hope Schools could not have been created without the generosity of our partners at GBM. I would like to thank those who have given so much over the years to change the lives of these slave children.

The challenges to developing this secondary school are great. Land and a building must be built and furnished. A principal and teachers must be hired. Currently we have about 1/5th of the cost of the building and we are looking into grant funding as well. Please prayerfully consider giving to this endeavor. All our teams, both in the US and in Pakistan, are firmly committed to the success of this project.

 

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