Covid-19 Update 20

News from our Partners – SLCDO, Pakistan

At the time of writing Pakistan has recorded 24,644 cases of covid-19 and 585 deaths.

Our partners Shining Lights Community Development Organisation (SLCDO) offer a range of development programmes for children and adults within Gilgit, northern Pakistan. Rope is in partnership with them to deliver vocational and life skills training for women from the Gujjar community in rural villages surrounding Gilgit. With Rope support over the last 12 months they have been training 50 women in sewing and tailoring skills.

Gilgit area is a local disease hotspot because many local people had travelled to Iran on pilgrimage and returned infected. Our partners report that all programme closed mid March and the students and teaching staff are all self isolating at home.

The Programme’s Manager reports that his wife, who is a clinician is running a 30 bedded hospital in the area and has been screening and treating people coming with the symptoms.

The director of SLCDO also shared that though fear is dominating people’s hearts during lockdown, the church was able to celebrate Easter, which was a great blessing for everyone. Young people from the church brought a big loud speaker and played worship music which could be heard in people’s homes.

The church also sought to distribute food packs to 150 families. The church community, working remotely, prepared the food packs in the week leading up to Easter and began distributing them on Good Friday. All food packs were very gratefully received and then these were distributed. One lady with five children, on receiving the food pack shared “Today I was very worried because I had no food for my children. My husband is a cleaner and isn’t working in the lockdown. This food pack is a huge relief for my family. Thank you.”

Our partners also shared that one family lost a family member in a city, a 24 hour drive away. The relative had died from a heart attack and the family couldn’t afford the cost of private transportation to attend the funeral as public transport is closed. The church was able to use funds to support the family to attend.

Please pray for

  • The churches in these communities, that they can continue to reach out and support vulnerable families and share Christ’s love;
  • God’s protection over our partners during this time;
  • All the students and teachers on the programme, that they will not lose heart and will be able to restart training as soon as lockdown in lifted;
  • For wisdom for the authorities and protection for the population as they are beginning to gradually lift the restrictions and come out of lockdown.

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