British Asian Christian Association is embarking on a new poverty reduction programme in Pakistan to assist rural Pakistanis.
Our solar panel distribution will bring light and power to families struggling with rising energy costs and the debilitating daily power cuts under the nations load-shedding programme.
Families will see a reduction in energy costs and have a power source to run fans, small equipment and maintain lighting during regular power cuts.
Biniyameen (60 yrs) and his wife Venice bibi (70 yrs) lives alone in a somewhat derelict house small home in Mohala Shakar Ganj, Mian Channu in the Punjab. The house was built some 40 years ago when the couple was young and able to earn.
Binyameen was a wall painter and Venice worked as a midwife in their village. God blessed them with two daughters Zarash (37 yrs) and Gulnaz who died in 2019 at the age of 35 years (rest in peace). Gulnaz died from an infection while giving birth to her daughter. The death of Gulnaz hurt Biniyameen deeply. he suffered with extremely deep emotional trauma and had a mental breakdown. The stress of the situation triggered severe epilepsy and this has meant since then Biniyameen has not been able to work. You can see the effects of the epilepsy in the video interview below; Biniyameen wanted to share his thanks:
Venice bibi became the main bread-winner at the time but her work has reduced massively as people now prefer hospitals and private clinics for maternity matters. The couple now survive on the little money she earns from maternity aftercare helping around a home, teaching how to care for a baby and massaging young mothers.
They couple live in a two rooms house. Only one room has a roof (this was installed by BACA after the 2023 deluge) while the other remains roofless with poorly constructed walls. There was no electricity in the house as Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA) officials switched off supply due to non payment of bills in 2019. Biniyameen spoke with BACA, he said:
“We have been lighting oil lamps during the night to maintain visibility.
“It becomes a challenge to go out and find our washroom when we need to relieve ourselves”
“Summer is always hard we suffocate in the heat without a fan to cool us.”
Biniyameen and his wife Venice are a regular members of a local congregation of the Church of Pakistan. A member of the church informed our operations manager about the plight of the couple and it was he who helped us devise our project.
Our BACA team visited the family and installed a solar-power system on May 15th 2023. We have also installed a low energy fan and a low energy light fitting which can be supported by the power generated by the solar panels. The system will not be affected by load-shedding but will be less useful during the winter months. Even then it is assumed that this package will be able to cover all the electrical needs of this family without any further need for power via the national electric grid.
The couple were excited and pleased after the installation. Biniyameen excitedly, told us:
“My daughter Zarash and her children can now stay with us more frequently, as we have power in our house.
“Her in-laws were always hesitant to send them to us due to the mosquito and flies but now with a fan in our home, we can keep these creatures away.
“I know that Sonia (daughter of Gulnaz) will visit more often too, she was so excited when I told her about our solar-panels.
“I thank God that he has given us such a valuable gift – may his name be praised.”
British Asian Christian Association, is hoping to provide more green energy solar panels to the homes of deprived elderly Christians in rural communities throughout Pakistan. Each Installation will cost us £900 for; a solar-panel, battery, a low-energy fan and a low energy light. If you would like to help us make the world a little greener and bring comfort to many ailing families in Pakistan please donate to our Green Energy For Deprived Christians Fund (here).
Juliet Chowdhry, trustee for British Asian Christian Association, said:
“We were moved by the plight of this couple.
“An approach from a senior member of a Church of Pakistan congregation led to an investigation by our team and a desire to help.
“We are so pleased by the result which means Biniyameen and Venice will have electricity when they want it and will not have to pay onerous bills.
“It is extremely sad that many elderly Christians in Pakistan have no access to any state benefits and when they are too old to work or are to sick; begin to live terrible lives.
“A project like this could help many other elderly couples in a similar position.
“We aim to widen this project and help at least 5 families each year.
“Such a special project not only gives great comfort to our beneficiaries but enables us to be better stewards of the wonderful earth God created for us.