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In Pakistan, COVID-19 restrictions combined with monsoon season, left brick kiln workers, along with other day workers, with no work and therefore no pay for months.

As a result of the pandemic, Pakistan went into lockdown from March to May with some ongoing restrictions in place until August.

The enforced restrictions significantly affected the country’s poor and vulnerable communities, including the Christian minority.

Pakistani Christians, most often day labourers in the lowest paying jobs, could no longer work and faced the very real threat of starvation.

For those working in the brick kilns of Lahore, Pakistan’s monsoon season resulted in additional job losses. The season which runs from June to September brought very heavy rainfalls this year. This resulted in the kilns being closed from July to September.

This meant no work, no income and nothing to feed the family.

Additionally, as much-needed aid was distributed throughout Pakistan, VOM received reports of Christians being pushed to the end of distribution queues or being denied assistance altogether.

VOM Australia, together with our distribution partner in Pakistan provided basic food packages to those who needed it most.

The distribution areas selected where those where no one else had reached. One such place was the brick kilns on the outskirts of Lahore.

There are almost 70 families residing in these brick kiln colonies. The average family size is six members. All of the adults are illiterate and have no option to work elsewhere. Their employers, the landlords, have not provided any support in this crucial situation.

Families were very grateful for the help they received. They are thankful to God who kept them safe and fulfilled their desperate need.

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