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Seminarian Daniel Andrades & his family

Karachi Outreach 2024

The Plight of Christians in Pakistan 

Pakistan’s Christian community constitutes a small minority of 1.6% of Pakistan’s total population, concentrated mainly in Karachi. (Pakistan total current population stands at 243M, being the 5th most populace country in the world). The majority of Pakistani Christians live in slum areas, in poor and miserable conditions.

The Christian Slums of Karachi

Christians from the slums are uneducated and illiterate. Many are jobless, others work as laborers and cleaners on daily-wages, and earn as little as $3 to $4 for a full day’s work, living in small rented houses, without basic utilities or amenities. Each family has around 4 to 5 children. Majority of these children do not go to school, due to poverty. Most children from the slums are forced into child-labor, and some into child-beggary, risking abuse to become a source of income for their families. They are lucky if they get to eat one decent meal a day.

Poor Christians in Pakistan are looked down upon and face discrimination. Many work as sewage cleaners, using their bare hands, with no equipment or protection. Some have died from poisonous gas inhalation and disease. Drug addiction is rampant among jobless Christian men and youth. The women and children are frequently mistreated and abused. Christian women in the slums usually carry the burden of earning for their families, working multiple jobs, cleaning and cooking for the wealthy. Elderly are considered a burden and are poorly treated. Some are abandoned on the streets to fend for themselves. Kidnapping, forced marriages and forced conversion to Islam, especially of young teenage Christian girls, frequently underage, to wealthy Muslim men, is usually supported by the local authorities and courts, under one pretext or another. Cases of Christians being accused of blasphemy (a crime which carries a death-sentence in Pakistan) is becoming more common day by day. 

Cases of suicide in the slums is on the increase, while the children growing up in this environment are the most vulnerable and neglected.  There is much need for support and efforts to rescue these children and admit them into boarding homes, hostels, orphanages and schools where they can receive proper care, affection, counselling and schooling. 

Catholic schools charge low subsidized monthly fees of around US$ 11 per student while Catholic orphanages charge a nominal monthly fee of US$ 7 per child. These institutions, therefore find it difficult to make ends meet or to manage routine upkeep and maintenance. New-student subsidized school-admission fee is around US$ 70.  School books and stationary approximately $ 16 per child, and two uniforms and a pair of shoes around US$ 25. With unprecedented inflation at 38% and the on-going devaluation of the local Rupee (1$ = Rs.278), the cost of basic necessities and food items is now beyond the reach of the poor man. 

Thanks to the most generous donations received from the parishioners of St. Joseph’s Parish Fullerton, around 300 poor and orphan children have benefitted, either in the form of uniforms, school books, shoes or school fees / admissions fees on a prioritized need basis. A number of children have been rescued and admitted into orphanages and schools. The Karachi Outreach Program has also assisted abandoned elderly, rehabilitation of Christian drug addicts as well as with basic maintenance requirements of Orphanages, Homes for the elderly and Christian Schools. 

May God bless you abundantly for your generosity, love and concern for the less fortunate. Your contributions have changed lives and provided hope, relief and comfort to many poor deserving Christians in Karachi. 

Humbly in Christ,

Jerome Andrades

Project Estimate Plans & Cost 2024

US$ 17,020/- Estimated Budget (1 US$ = Rs.278) 
1. Christian Orphanages: Educational Requirements of 200 Christian Orphans / Poor Children  (US$ 6500) 

2. Christian Orphanages: Dry Rations and Toiletries 
(US$ 1900 Estimated Rs.525,000) 

3. Assessment of Christian Orphanages in Other Cities. 
(US$ 360) 

4. St. Vincent Home for the Elderly, Karachi 
(US$ 1260 Setup a basic recreation area) 

5. Easter Hampers for 70 Widows & Single Mothers 
(US$ 2500 for 70 Hampers: Dry rations, juices and toiletries) 

6. Basic Renovation of Christian Orphanages / Homes for the Elderly, Poor Christian Schools 
(US$ 2500 set aside for basic renovation and upkeep) 

7. House of Hope, Drug Rehabilitation Center 
(US$ 2000 approximately for the Rehabilitation and Treatment of 10 deserving Christian Drug Addicts) 

Karachi Outreach 2022

Karachi Outreach 2022

This Lent our parish and school community will be helping through our outreach program the catholic community in Karachi Pakistan. Sem. Daniel Andrades hails from Pakistan and his father currently is volunteering to work with the needy to evangelize and help with essential needs for their livelihood. This outreach opportunity will help us to foster the faith and wellbeing of the minority catholic population in the predominantly Moslem country.

Pakistan is the world’s 5th most populace country with a population of 223 Million.  Christians constitute around 1.6% of Pakistan’s total population. Pakistan is very densely populated with approximately 742 people per Sq. Mile (in comparison to China which has 397 people per Sq. Mile.) Karachi is the most populace city in Pakistan with around 20 Million people, followed by Lahore with around 13 Million. Pakistan’s Christian community is concentrated mainly in Karachi and a few other major cities. Karachi Christians constitute 6% of Karachi’s population.

Condition of Poor Christian Families & their Children

A large majority of the Christian community (Urdu speaking community) are uneducated and illiterate, working on daily wages as laborers and cleaners (earning as little as $3.50 to $5.50 for a full day’s work. i.e. Pak. Rs. 600 to Rs. 800 per day). Many are now unable to find work due to the pandemic situation and barely able to eat one meal a day. Children from these families are mostly uneducated (child labor is also common in Pakistan) and end up like their parent, working as cleaners and laborers on daily wages. Christian couples in the slum areas have as many as 4 to 5 children. Although some Catholic schools charge a nominal fee of around $10 to $12 monthly-fee per child (i.e. Rs.1500 to Rs.2000 per child per month), poor families are unable to pay for the education of their children, resulting in a significant number of Christian-children drop-outs from schools. The Vincent De Paul Society - St. Anthony’s Conference Karachi is currently paying for the fees of 50 children from poor families, amounting to an Annual amount of Rs. 981,000 (approx. US$ 6150 Annually) and would like to include more children in this program.

The Urdu speaking Christian community are looked down upon, also having to face job discrimination. The government recently put out an advertisement for Sewage Cleaners - quote ‘Only Christians need apply’. They are required to clean the sewage with their bare hands often submerged up to their shoulders in the drains, with no protection. Many have died from gas inhalation and disease in a desperate attempt to earn money for their families.

Condition of Elderly Christian in Pakistan.

Many elderly Christians have been deserted and abandoned by their children and families and left to fend for themselves. Those in the poorer communities are often treated badly as they are looked upon as an added burden. With no unemployment benefits from the government. Very few (only government employees) are entitled to menial old-age benefits (approx. $30 a month.) The govt. has implemented a COVID one-time emergency-relief of $75 per family (many poor Christian families inform that they have not received this one-time-funding). There is a serious dearth of hospices in Pakistan, with no government funding or support from the Parishes in Pakistan, the condition of the elderly is dismal. A handful of homes for the elderly in Pakistan (for the Christian community) are run by the religious orders with no financial support from the Diocese / Churches of Pakistan. These homes are expected to be self-sufficient and hence charge a nominal fee ranging from $10 to $60 per month to make ends meet, as a result these homes are unable to manage maintenance and upkeep.

Home for Christian Orphans / Children from broken homes. (In Karachi)

These homes are also run by the religious orders with no financial support from the Diocese / Churches of Pakistan or the Government. A couple of these Homes include, The Good Shepherd Sisters Home and Providence Home. Funding is received mainly through donations. The children come from broken families, some have parents in prison, others have been abandoned by step parents or where the family is unable to support or feed their children.