PAKISTAN Three literacy centers for children of brick kiln workers

Bishop Rehmat inaugurated three schools in Bonnieabad, the city that is being born in Punjab for the families of poor and exploited workers thanks to the Society for Human Development of Fr. Bonnie Mendes. The story of a mother of three children to : “Seeing that our children can study for us is a dream come true.”

Toba Tek Singh () – The Society for Human Development led by Father Bonnie Mendes and Father Simon Khursheed is building a new city called Bonnieabad in Mureedwala, in the Toba Tek Singh district of Punjab, with new housing for workers of brick kilns and the homeless. After assessing the needs, the Society decided to build literacy centers for deprived children in the area, as there is no proper school and brick kiln workers cannot afford to send their children to private schools. With the help of foreign friends, the Human Development Society then decided to build literacy centers for these children in Bonnieabad.

The Society has built three literacy centers at different points and the inauguration ceremony was held yesterday. Present was Monsignor Indrias Rehmat, Bishop of Faisalabad, who blessed the schools and planted trees together with the inhabitants. Nearly 600 people attended the inauguration, including children, parents and poor families from the town. Special prayers were offered during the ceremony for the peace and prosperity of the village.

The p. Bonnie Mendes, president of the Society for Human Development, explained to : “The three classrooms of the literacy centers now have about 60 children sitting on small chairs around colorful round tables. The joy at the opening was evident in their smiles. During the ceremony, a disabled girl recounted her meeting with an employee of the Society for Human Development who had given her this opportunity to study”.

“We have only one objective – added Fr. Mendes – to serve the poor community and in them Jesus crucified. We now have 60 children in schools, but I believe that more will join us in the coming months. Here they will learn how they can help improve society in the future. We will continue to work for them and try to expand our services.”

Bishop Rehmat expressed his admiration for the work carried out by the Society for Human Development, which runs about twenty institutions in Toba Tek Singh, including beauty salons, literacy centers and training centers for poor girls and women, whose objective is to transmit knowledge that allows them to support their families. In Bonnieabad land was purchased and 34 houses were built for brick kiln workers and homeless people. “I ask all of you – the bishop told the inhabitants of Bonnieabad – to send your children to these literacy centers not only so that they have a better future for their families, but also for society as a whole. I beg you to continue working for these communities -he added addressing the Society for Human Development- according to the teachings of Jesus and I assure you of my full support”.

Nasreen Barkat, a brick kiln worker and mother of three, commented: “It is a blessing for us that our children go to school and study for a better future. We have been working in brick kilns for many generations and I never thought that my children could study in such a healthy environment.It is like a dream come true for us.I hope that in the future our children will stop working in brick kilns and start their own business to help improve the future of this village and the community society”.

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Written by Editor TLN

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