Postage for Pakistan and other parts of the planet

Sunday, July 10, 2011

An ongoing, heartbreaking tragedy in Pakistan

Years ago, I can't remember where -- maybe it was National Geographic, maybe the Los Angeles Times -- I read about the "brick kiln" children. These were Pakistani children as young as three who for any number of reasons ended up as slaves making bricks.

Today, a woman religious who ministers to them sent me the following, which I cleaned up for language and readability.

This Sister originally started out in a convent but left a few years back because she did not believe her vocation was to teach in a classroom the rest of her life. Furthermore, she was also interested in the poor Christians and Muslims brick kiln children who, with their families, make bricks. The whole family earns $1 a day. They can never move on to something more profitable or less difficult because their owners have them laboring to pay off debts that most will hardly have brought down even after decades. It probably goes without saying that these children have no opportunity for schooling or any access to doctors. Indeed, their slave masters forbid their formal education. It takes away, after all, from their being able to work. Their life is one of total slavery and brutality.

This brave woman, however, has obtained permission to come to the Christian children in the evening to teach them their Christian faith. She also helps the poor Muslim community because, she relates, "not all the Muslims are bad. Many are very, very loving and friendly people," and, regardless, "they need help."

She is helping children, women, and young girls by providing them very basic needs such as food, clothing, and medicines. She also tries to provide the children with toys because they have no childhood. The "only things they know to play with is MUD, so I buy cheap toys for them." She also procures stationery, composition books, and note books because her team also helps the children learn to read and write.

To learn more about the huge tragedy, indeed, abomination of the brick kiln kids (numbering up to a quarter of a million children) read here and here.

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