Lifeline’s heart for orphaned and vulnerable children leads us to explore aspects of orphan care that many people would not imagine. In the country of Pakistan, Lifeline partners with others to impact the lives of girls, many whose parents are enslaved in the brick-making industry. This modern-day slavery is reminiscent of indentured servanthood, whereas men (and ultimately many of their family members) become slaves because of debt; however, as they work their debt increases, and they never see their freedom without intervention.
It is in this context that Lifeline and its partners seek to bring a hope and future to the people of Pakistan through a girls’ home and training centers. The girls’ home is full of girls who are loved and cared for during the school year. Because they are part of the home, they are removed from undesirable situations and are able to receive an education that would not be possible otherwise. As young females, these girls are often suppressed in their country, being enslaved through brick making, as house servants, or being given in marriage at a very young age. They are some of the most vulnerable citizens of Pakistan, and their gender as well as their socio-economic status gives them no opportunity for education outside of the girls’ home.
Not only do these sweet girls receive an academic education, they also receive valuable life and job skills. By learning skills such as sewing, these girls will have a profitable skill with which to earn money for or to serve needs within their own families one day. The goal is that through their education, they will be able to break the familial cycles of poverty and suppression—giving them hope and a future when they have a life outside of the girls’ home. Most importantly, though, the ultimate goal is that these girls find true freedom as they learn that the Father loves and values them.
Last year we saw five girls in the home come to trust in the love and redemption of the Father. One of these sweet girls came from a family that is enslaved in the brick making industry. Before her time in the girls’ home, she had no hope for the future and believed that she was forgotten and neglected by God—unworthy of His love. Now, she knows that she was created for a purpose and has an opportunity to be a light in her community.