– Shamiel Saleem
Christian Youth Development Movement (CYDM) and International Christian Concern (ICC) visited an Orphanage Home for Girls called “ABBA HOME” situated in Youhanabad (Lahore – Pakistan) on 27th October 2013 (Sunday) at 12:00 pm. Abba Home is place where 35 orphan Christian girls are being raised with all the basic needs and facilities needed by any normal growing up girl.
These girls get education, food, recreational facilities, religious education, awareness on child rights and how to live as responsible citizens knowing their rights and responsibilities towards society; they are being empowered and build capacities from the beginning so they can live a healthy strong life being a girl/woman.
Mr. Ashraf Naheed (Director-Abba Home) said that “I take pride of having given privilege of becoming Father of 35 daughters of Abba Home. My Life companion Wilma and I have ensured all of these entrusted to us becoming worthy citizens of their relatives, near and dear ones, the Civil Society in Pakistan and the World. We are taking care of these girls since 2005. We accept the rejected baby girls when no one takes responsibility of them. We raise them with respect and dignity along with the provision of every basic right and facility”.
CYDM visited ABBA HOME with the objective of sharing and transforming the knowledge to these girls who have to become leaders and have to play a role as mothers, wives, mentors, inspirations, professionals. We wanted to inculcate in them the importance of Education in their lives and wanted to sensitize them about their rights as girls/children/ so they can make a difference in this world from the beginning by knowing about their capacities, capabilities and strengths. They should not feel they are alone, deprived, neglected in fact they are respected and have all the potential to be inspiration for others and prove to the world that one can live their life with dignity and putting faith in Lord. As he has promised, Philippians 4:19 “And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus”. He is taking care of these girls through His sons and daughters who are providing services and reach to such people by sharing all they have in form of time, money, knowledge.
The activity took off with the prayer by Ms. Noreen Ghauri (Volunteer), introduction of Abba Home was briefed to volunteers by Mr. Ashraf Naheed (Director-Abba Home), Mr. Shamiel Saleem (Founder/President) CYDM and ICC Volunteer shared his vision and purpose of visit to the place, saying “Children are the gift of God and it’s our duty to give them right information and guidance so they can live their lives in positive direction. Education is a key to success and the only element to survive in the country we live in where we face lot of discriminations, injustice and intolerance. Education is the only tool to fight and overcome the injustice and to make this a Just Society and a better place to live”. He also quoted Nelson Mandela that “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” and Brigham Young that “You educate a man; you educate a man. You educate a woman; you educate a generation.” He valued the efforts of Mr & Mrs Ashraf that they are doing a great job by raising these girls and making them able to fight and survive in this world. And also shared and advised the young girls that “the good work you parents (founders of Abba Home) are doing should not end here you should follow and carry on their legacy and continue to raise and, empower Christian girls and to let them know their Christian values, and teach them how to live with dignity, integrity and honor till death”.
Ms. Christina Patras board member shared Bible teachings with children that we should be known by our actions that we are children of God, shared what Jesus said about children and we should put affirm faith in God in all we do. She shared from scriptures when Jesus called the children to him and said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Luke 18:16 then she narrated Zakai story to children and made them understand that no matter whether we are small or tall, rich or poor, only our acts which are done sincerely with His mankind by helping them, sharing food, things, kindness, happiness makes difference and make them worth in the eyes of the Lord, we should always continue with the good work no matter how hard times gets, we must always do things for God with clear heart. Jesus loves us and we should also love each other.A book was presented to the children by Mr. Zarak Samuel CYDM youth group member on “Lahore Fort” so children can increase their general knowledge and know about the history of Lahore.
Children were very happy and responded to the questions after the story telling, it was good sharing learning interactive session, then they shared the good things they do in class rooms and daily life, they also said One Word that reflected their personalities positively. Volunteers shared eatables, drinks, chocolates with them. In the end of the ceremony stationery pouches were distributed as gifts and we had a group photo to take good memories along.
CYDM & ICC volunteer also donated house hold and routine use items to them e.g. toys, clothes, shampoo’s, plates, tooth brushes, tooth pastes, lotions, first aid medicine, hair pins/bands, buckets, mugs, glasses, salt packets, soaps, towels, plates, kitchen/cooking items.
Mrs. Ashraf appreciated our work and said that “It’s good that CYDM is sharing their talents and gifts with others, God give them spirit not to be afraid of anything and continue the services and reach to His people who are in need. She was glad that God is using us during youth time, serving Lord and His people, He will bless us. Its rear that youth do such kind acts during this time of age rather they are happy in doing materialistic things.” They also gifted calendars for the year 2014 to all the volunteers of CYDM. We are thankful for the prayers and love we received from this family.
Rabia a girl from Abba Home on behalf of all the other girls from Abba Home thanked all the visitors and shared her thoughts that “The work which CYDM and ICC is doing is very impressive and when we will grow up we would like to join CYDM and ICC to carry on the good work to serve our Christian Community of Pakistan.”
By such activities and interactions we can give security to our future generations by preserving their integrities and giving them hope of goodness. By this they get courage to move forward in their lives by achieving the best that will ultimately be strengthening communities and countries like ours where lot of attention need to be given to girls and women for recognizing their potentials, giving respect, believing in them, making their education compulsory and this will give a new path to their security and independent future.