How we started.
LTNI was founded by a small group of individuals and families who banded together to create an impact on their community of heritage. As Canadians we have a unique blessing, enjoying the freedoms and rights of citizenship in a country that values people and provides them with the opportunity for success in life. These rights and freedoms although they may be universal in theory, are not universal in practice in many parts of the world; including but not limited to Pakistan. As a free society, we have the responsibility to impact areas of the world where egregious violations of human rights occur. Places where people are persecuted regularly, both by the masses and by state sponsored persecution.
Religious minority communities in Pakistan are without a doubt the most vulnerable populations there. With shockingly low literacy rates due to the unavailability of educational opportunities, children being forced to work to support the family, rampant drug and addiction issues, human trafficking, false blasphemy charges enabling both masses and authorities to abuse innocent persons, and a lack of employment opportunities --life can be grim, to say the least.
That's where we began. But where there is faith, there is hope.
Team LTNI member Phoebe sits with an LTNI scholorship student getting him signed up for his education at Foreman Christian College.
Christians in Pakistan..
Prior to the creation of Pakistan in 1947, the Indian subcontinent had a long history of Christianity; dating back to the presence and teachings there from the Apostle Thomas, one of Jesus' disciples.
Christianity further grew and spread as missionaries from all over the world continued to travel to the continent to share the love of God with the South Asian people.
In 1947, Christians played a large role in the division of the province of Punjab, whereby a Christian cast his vote in support of Pakistan --with the promise of freedom and protection given them. During the early years, this small population of Christians' educational and health care institutes provided care and education for more than 80% of the country's population.
In the 1970s, Pakistan saw a radical change from the secular society it briefly began as to a fundamentalist one. Now as the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, although the country continued to promise protection and freedom to it's religious minorities, Sharia Law meant that this possibility disappeared. Draconian blasphemy laws, are misused to this day to entrap individuals from religious minority communities falsely; and have created a caste like system in society that keeps them oppressed.
So what can we do?
One person, one family at a time we can make a difference. As a small NGO we are focused firstly on identifying community needs via health and educational assessments, and secondly on supporting women, children and youth --the most vulnerable of the vulnerable, on an individual basis by providing scholarships, tuition fees, school supplies and educational opportunities.
For example, after our first ever Education Conference with the village of Montgomerywala in Punjab, one of the largest Christian popuations in Pakistan; one of the goals discussed was the lack of safe viable opportunities for women to seek education and employment. Outcome? LTNI's Vocational School for Women where approximately 10-15 women at one time are able to learn to sew and embroider and taught the ins-and-outs of basic business and upon graduation are sent home with the skills and supplies needed to start their own business in the safety of their own home and community.
Right now this school is being run in a rented location, however we hope to build a new location for more students and more learning opportunities.
Small projects like this can create huge impacts within a community. Providing not only economic relief for individuals and families, but hope.
168 Bluebell Crescent
Tel (289) 489-5636
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