London: (By Hannah Chowdhry) The home of Pakistan’s most famous orphans has had a facelift and new fans installed.. BACA has also replaced items of kitchenware that had been stolen while they were visiting distant relatives.
Suleman (13 yrs), Sonia (10 yrs) and Poonam (8 yrs) survived the beating and then burning alive of their parents before there very eyes in 2014. Their father Shahzad Masih and his wife Shama two slaves indentured indentured under a bonded lbaour contract, were falsely accused of blasphemy in 2014. Before the couple could be arrested and then challenge for their acquittal in court, they were brutally murdered in the brick kilns of Kasur. Read more
The allegations of blasphemy were made to prevent Shama from filing rape charges against the accountant of their ‘owner’. Through the blasphemy allegations and the couples extra-judicial killing he was able to escape the justice system. Though over 100 radicalised Muslim men were originally arrested for murdering the Christian couple, they also escaped justice
We were one of the first charities to provide support to the orphans and from the very first day since their parents were killed we have been providing a live-in nanny.
We organise monthly visits to the family to check on how the family are doing mentally, physically and spiritually. We do the same for our live-in-nanny who is an essential part of the care for the children.
During our las visit we noticed that the family home of Shama and Shahzad needed a refreshing of paint. The family also requested the installation of two fans for their children’s bedroom and their living area because using the computers we bought with your donations (click here) created excessive heat in an already hot climate.
The family depend on handouts as Mukhtar Masih their maternal grandfather is too old and frail to work and with your donations we were able to complete the work.
The walls of the rooms of the house were dirty, stained and paint was cracking or had mildew. We have now repainted the whole house, with particular attention to the bedrooms of Suleman which was painted purple and Sonia and Poonam’s room was painted pink which was their favourite colour.
The children are currently enjoying their summer vacation and return to schools in August. Our operations manager visited the family on 8th June 2022 to oversee the renovations. While he was there he was informed by Mukhtar Masih a thief had stole their kitchen utensils while they had been staying with some relatives, far away from home. Our live-in-nanny also explained that it was impossible for her to cook without utensils, so she had been buying take-away food for the children. Mukhtar Masih said:
“The thief has taken away all the kitchen utensils.
“We returned from our relatives after a week and found our home had been ransacked.
“Our home feels less safe since this happened.”
The next day on 9th June BACA bought new kitchen utensils to replace the old ones. This bought great joy to the beleaguered children and Mukhtar Masih.
“We are so grateful for the support, we never expected such a quick replacement of our stolen items.
“It is so good to be able to eat home-cooked food again.”
BACA has also installed new ceiling fans in the bedrooms for the children. Salman expressed his joy over the changes to their family home. He said:
“Purple is my favourite colour and the walls look so perfect.
“Having a ceiling fan is so good, I feel less tired now and am able to study for longer.”
Sonia and Poonam were also happy to have new paint in their room, Poonam said:
“Pink is our favourite colour, It feels so nice to have such clean new freshly painted walls.
“Sonia and I can pretend to be princesses now.”
We have been paying for a full time live-in nanny since 2014. The latest nanny has been in position for over 4 years and is as close to a replacement mother as these children will ever know. Sustaining her costs has been one of our priorities since Shama and Shahzad were killed.