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  • These are the 1 percent

    Pakistan’s brick-kiln workers are the poorest of the poor. Perhaps the poorest 1%. They are the central focus of Start A Second Story.

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What is Pakistan Christian School?

The first step in a strategic partnership with local believers, Pakistan Christian School exists to serve the least reached, and the enslaved families of one of Pakistan’s many brick kiln communities. Its a long-ranging answer to a far-reaching problem. We believe that quality Christian education can change the game.

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Who actually runs the school?

Local leaders have dreamed of running a school here for decades. They especially wanted to pioneer a school for the “least of these” – the children of the brick kiln workers. Today, a husband/wife team (Shahzad and Eshrat) have primary responsibility for the running of the school, including recruiting great staff. They actually give their time to the school for free (we’d like to pay them in the future!), while a wider team exists around them to handle finances, administration, and other legal needs.

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What does it all cost?

Not a lot. The truth is that for around an average family income, we can provide an education, and a life away from making bricks, for up to 100 children! Securing the building, furniture, legal fees, and first months salary was a $4000 investment. Bringing the first 65 children into the school, costs $2000 every month. It looks like we can get up to 100 children for that same $2000. If we can pull it off, we’re looking at $20 per child, for a full education, and the opportunity to bring them out of the brick kilns! All Start A Second Story team members volunteer their time and resources to keep costs super low!

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What happens when the kids leave school?

We’re a number of years away from any graduations yet… (we started with the youngest first) but our aim is to produce “a man among men, and a woman among women”. Many of these children have never handled currency, let alone needed to budget it. Foundational skills like these are as central to becoming a wise and productive person as good learning and life skills; so that’s where we’re focusing – holistic training, to be able to make (or just get) jobs in the future. We’re expecting to help locals pioneer a small business, becoming a valuable income stream for both the parents, and the school. It, or a future iteration, could be a place where the children work or train after graduation.

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What does it cost the children?

There is no fee to attend Pakistan Christian School. Families are asked to purchase a school uniform.  For those who don’t have an income source (many brick kiln workers), we are establishing a scholarship fund.  Each uniform costs about $15. Uniforms are a bit more important over there than they are here.  Its like a badge of honor, to be able to wear a uniform to school, and to have a place to belong, and a place to learn.

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Is this dangerous?

The truth is that if you’ve grown up in Pakistan, going to school in Pakistan is no more dangerous than every other day in your host culture. Local churches operate year-round all across Pakistan, with acceptance from the government. Like those churches, Pakistan Christian School is a small body of people gathered around a common cause of educating down-trodden Christians.

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How do you track the money, and what does this all cost?

Funds are raised in the USA through our 501(c)3 status organization. Each month, the US team sends an pre-agreed amount to the school leadership team (based on a 12 month budget), who keep double-record account ledgers, and receipts, for all expenditure. As the school has matured, so the monthly needs have stabilized, after initial start-up costs. Securing the building, furniture, legal fees, and first months salary was a $4000 investment. Bringing the first 65 children into the school, and educating them 5 days a week, with meals (once a week), costs $2000 every month. That’s $30 per head! It sure looks like we can (during the next school year) get up to 100 children for that $2000 mark. If we can pull it off, we’re looking at $20 per child, for a full education, and the opportunity to bring them out of the brick kilns!

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