ACN is helping 750 Christian women and girls escape the grinding poverty that puts them at direct risk of abduction, forced conversion and sexual slavery.

For years, ACN has supported a faith and skills empowerment programme aimed at young women across five of the most deprived rural districts in Faisalabad diocese.

Programme coordinator Aneel Mushtaq told us: “Those we reach normally work as cleaners or maids in houses or in brick kilns and other factories, trying to feed their families, who are entirely dependent on them. They become victims of sexual harassment and abuse.”

The empowerment programme helps lift the girls out of abject poverty and the risk of exploitation by training them in vocational skills, making very marketable home-made products:

  • Candle-making – vital in a region where power cuts happen every day
  • Mask and sanitiser-making – critical in the struggle against COVID-19
  • Detergent-making – vital for every home
  • Handicraft – bags, scarves and other items for daily use

The programme also enables women and girls to deepen their faith, providing:

  • 10 Christian education (catechesis) programmes
  • 300 Bibles, distributed to women
  • 500 rosaries, distributed to girls
  • 2 retreats to local places of pilgrimage

Recommending the project to ACN, Bishop Indrias Rehmat of Faisalabad said: “I shall be so very grateful if you can help us to implement this project which can do so much to empower the deprived Christian women in my diocese. They badly need your help.”