Christmas Appeal

Your donation this Christmas will bring joy to families trapped in debt slavery.

Please pause for a moment and say a prayer for families trapped in debt slavery at Pakistan’s brick kilns.

Families work for up to 14 hours a day making clay bricks in the baking sun, breathing in choking dust. It is back-breaking work. Most receive only one meal day. Anyone who complains might be beaten. There is no medical care. The children have no schooling.

It is difficult to imagine a worse kind of life. Yet despite all of this, many of these poor families still turn to God and ask for help. Please be an answer to their prayers by bringing Christmas joy to some of these families.

With your help, CLAAS will be distributing 300 family care packages containing rice, flour, sugar, cooking oil, lentils, tea bags and noodles. We will also distribute over 400 children’s packs containing dried fruit, sweets, Christian colouring books and pencils, and hopefully a cardigan (it can be very cold at night). The more you give, the more we can distribute.

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Modern day slaves

Poor families in Pakistan are forced to take whatever work they can find. Thousands end up as labourers at brick kilns.

The wages are so low the workers take out loans from their employers so they can afford food, clothes and other essentials.

Very quickly their debt – and the interest – is so large they cannot imagine ever being able to pay it off. They become trapped – permanently indebted to their employers – they become what have been called ‘modern day slaves’. The debt is even passed onto their children. In this way, generation after generation are born into debt slavery.

But there is hope. CLAAS has not forgotten these communities. We campaign on their behalf. We reach out to their employers. We help however we can. We can do this thanks to your prayers and donations. 

Meet Sana and Yaseen

Husband and wife Yaseen (31) and Sana (30) have four children; the eldest is 10 years, the youngest 3 months.

Yaseen and Sana were working at a brick kiln and just about surviving on the low salary. Then the kiln owner started withholding wages. Yaseen didn’t want to complain for fear of losing his job, so he took out a loan to buy food for his family. The employer deducted the loan from Yaseen’s wages. Then Yaseen took out further loans – and soon his debt was unmanageable.

Then the supervisor demanded Yaseen do extra work without pay. When Yaseen protested, the supervisor said Yaseen was in debt so he had to do what he was told – then he imprisoned Yaseen’s wife and children so they couldn’t run away.

In despair, Yaseen contacted CLAAS – and CLAAS responded by putting his family into safe accommodation and paying off his debt. Yaseen was very grateful to be given a fresh start. But it would be impossible for CLAAS to pay off every debt, so we offer pastoral support as best we can.

Hope for those in despair

Please support the CLAAS Christmas appeal. Please send a one-off gift or set up a regular direct debit. Every penny makes a practical difference – and, more importantly, reminds families that they are not forgotten.

As we give thanks this Christmas for the blessings we have received, please remember those in extreme poverty. I thank you in advance for your generosity – and pray that you may have a joyous Christmas.

In God’s love,

Nasir Saeed, CLAAS UK Director

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