- About us
- May Notices
- Intimations - Births, Marriages and Deaths
- Presbytery Faithshare Visit to Zimbabwe
- Presbytery Visit To Zimbabwe - pdf
- Prayer Diary
- Stewardship 2013
- spirit Spring Newsletter
- CoS Update Newsletter
- Photo Gallery
- Message from Bulawayo
- Decisions on Church Buildings
- World Mission Council update Newsletter
- CoS ECUMENICAL RELATIONS
- Historic links with China
- Catherine Nicol - Award
- Tumaini Childrens Trust
- Souper Sunday Update
- St Andrew's Sunday School in Bulawayo
- From the Papers
- Stamp out Leprosy
- St Columba RTC
- What's On
- Contact Us
St Columba Religious Training Centre
KNH Home no 25011
The end of the current year has brought the most important event that has to be brought to the notice of the Diocesan Council The hostel has been having the support from KNH Germany for 37 years . In September 2010 we were informed that KNH because of its new policies would be phasing out its help. This meant that no new students would be supported but those already supported would be helped to complete their courses. However in January 2011 we are informed that as from June 2011 no children will be supported.
This has meant that we have started in earnest to look for more sponsors both local and other wise. We need to find sponsors for 120 girls or more as soon as possible. We have one group who will support four girls for two years and in this way we hope to be able to support those who really need help
The hostel has been running since 1892 when the orphanage changed its old form and village Christian girls were brought in for general education , Christian teaching, and training in household skills The attached school was recognized by the Government in 1896. The church in Sialkot Diocese believes that the work being done in the hostel , caring for girls and seeking the best in their physical, mental and spiritual development is important because it contributes to the wellbeing of families who are often in a hopeless state and unable, even unwilling, to do anything for the girl children.
In 1999 our new section was completed and we aim to keep our total residents to 300 girls We had 380 girls in 2008 but have tightened our admissions and have brought the number down to 300 again The violence prevalent in some parts of the country is causing parents to try to send their girls to the hostel but obviously we cannot take all such applicants. We choose orphan and half orphans.
Parents are hungry for education for their children because the social trend is to emphasis academic education and to despise other forms. Sometimes parents take their girls away if we suggest vocational training. Others are happy. The local atmosphere in Sialkot emphasizes nursing or college education.
One family with 8 daughters came to us. Two of them had been married off young without the chance of education but Safdar the father’s income was not such that he could afford to get them all married off at an early age. What to do? We took in two who had been to primary school. Another we sent for sewing training. One,Razia, passed her Matric and we sent her for Nursing Assistant training in a Christian Hospital in Lahore. One is training as a teacher now and three, Cynthia, Sobia and Anum are still in school in the hostel One is satisfied to see father, relieved of the great burden of a house full of girls, now concerned for the progress of the girls and valuing the fact that they are becoming useful members of the community and a support to him and the family
WORK IN THE PROJECT
We have been overcrowded for many years and have now cut down the total; number of students to 300 approx. In accordance with the policy of KNH we have had a number of non school going girls or women staying for shorter or longer periods as they faced emergencies in their lives. At the moment we have one woman,Rahat,who had been deserted by her husband. She lives in the hostel and works in the hostel kitchen. Her daughter Sonia is in the hostel, and her brother is in a boys hostel. One old woman whose family threw her out is also staying with us. Perween is very shortsighted and physically weak, and is being cared for by the hostel. She says she is 70 years old. She is being mostly cared for by a partially disabled young woman, Rakhil who has no family and her home is now with is. During the year we had two young women, Novida and Nasim, with their children who had left their husbands for various reasons.. We informed the concerned pastors and were thankful to see them reunited. Another mother and daughter, Sheila and Farzana stayed for two years until a severe crisis in the family was settled. We have one room where we have been able in turn to accommodate these needy persons. After their problem was solved we had Fauzia and her daughter Kirn, and two little boys. The older boy we admitted in a hostel in Gujranwala. After nine months her husband turned up and she went to live with him in rented quarters near the hostel from where the family disappeared in April and they have not returned. In addition to these special at risk cases we had GULNAZ a nurse from a village where religious emnities.
This year the sisters in Gujranwala school stopped having girls for F.Sc. Classes. We were sorry about this but thank God for the 3 girls, Shamaila Sarwar, Shamaila Yusaf and Naila Yousaf who benefited and passed Fsc. These three who are all fatherless orphans, are now doing BSc in Sialkot and two others Faiza and Usha, are doing BCom. One girl, .Safeera Hanuk, who had A grade in Matric this year we have kept in the hostel and she is doing FSc in Government College. These girls hold promise for the future of our school where they will teach and help girls who like them would not get the chance to study and develop if they could not come to the hostel. Chanda Saleem the full orphan who opted to do Arts , has sat her final FA and awaits her result.
Two girls Noreen Boota and Dina Munir, this year joined nurses training in Mission Hospital and four, Rakhil. Sana, Meerab and Muqaddas, were fortunate to get places in Government Midwifery training and Irm amd Saddaf Maqbul in UCH Lahore, Five , Safa ,Kirn Sofia. are in FA in Gujranwala and Gulshan Pervez is in CTTC doing a technical course.
Midwifery students and Vocational
We have two girls, Sana Yaqub and Samaira Iqbal staying in the hostel having completed their midwifery training and passed the government exam. They are working in various hospitals to do the compulsory service after training. We have informed them that now they must find places in hospitals with accommodation so that we can continue to keep students to do the training . We can only accommodate girls who have matriculated from the hostel for this Another girl,Gulnaz, came to us after completing her training on the recommendation of her pastor because she was at risk and could not travel to and from the village because of the special situation there. Gulseena and Nasreen are also still with us and working as aid nurses. Nasreen, who is now 24 years old, came to us 22 years ago with her sisters, when her mother died. Her sisters are now married and she trained as a nurse aud and lived with and looked after her father until they had to vacate the room they were living in . She now has no home and is again living in the hostel with the teachers and her father lives on the hostel verandah.We are happy that she has just got engaged and will be married this year.
One girl Rehana Hamid who had dropped out of school did the summer sewing course in Fauji foundation this year and returned to her family able to sew clothes for them and others in the village. We help her until June 2011 when she will get married.
Four girls,Farah Iqbal her sister AFFIA who is awaiting her opportunity for training, Kirn Jamal,and Samar Naz are in T.S.A. Lahore and are now earning a little there while doing the training. We were especially happy that Kanwal Naz has completed the sewing course satisfactorily and has been employed
During the year we tried in various ways to make the hostel girls become aware of the world and the problems facing it and especially with relevance to them, pollution, electricity saving and the problems faced by the flood victims during the summer. They were well aware of the problems caused by gas and electric load shedding as they had to have their food cooked on wood in the hostel and they shared in learning how to light wood fires and keep them going. Training in security, shutting doors and gates, keeping quiet and alert was also organized, and the use of fire buckets and sand bags was also introduced. They also participated in learning about the world issues of water ,and the scientific background of tsunami , nuclear leakage and all the issues around the world concerning women.
In spite of security alerts girls were able to attend summer camps and rallies in Murree and Jhelum as well as having several functions within the hostel. Friends from Dubai joined us and hosted the Christmas dinner. They gain confidence in mixing with girls from other schools and performing on skits and dramas in a variety of themes. As usual girls of Class 8 and 10 attended UBTC courses after their exams, they also participated in rallies in Jhelum and Sialkot.
Our concern for the future of the girls , especially the ones mentioned in the list of the most needy attached , is great, and the girls admitted during 2010 and 2011 include six families and some individuals who desperately need sponsorship. We go ahead in faith that arrangements can be made trusting that God has a plan for each child he brings to us.
Concern is also great for the education and training of the children. Those coming to us from village schools even at High School level are barely literate. They have high pass marks in external exams because of objective type questions forming the main part of the system, and very little writing is involved . For this reason we have to work extra hard to help girls who are often able but have lacked proper teaching . We call them into the hostel during the summer holidays to help them. Now under Matric girls get no chance for training and either get married off very young or go to work in factories where they are greatly at risk of harassment and worse.
Irm Arif and Dilnashin Iqbal having sat the Matric have been with us in the hostel helping, and doing a computer course and sewing courses. These continue throughout the summer vacation when their result will come out . The home situations of these girls is such that they have to stay here even during holidays.
Affia is now doing MA Education as she could not get admission in B. Ed . Saadia is doing B. Ed, Roma topped her class in final year of nursing and is now a staff nurse. We hope to have good news of Matric results in August.
We are ever grateful for the support of KNH and for all the girls whose families have benefitted from the daughters KNH helped. We long to hear that at least some of the cases mentioned above will receive support for a further period.
Before closing we must record our thanks to the matrons in the two houses of the hostel, both former students, Miss Kauser John and Mrs Sufina Amanat, to our nurse Miss Miriam Lal Din, to resident senior teachers, Miss Miriam Shakeeb, Miss Shagufta, Miss Aksa Suba, Miss Kirn Saleem, Miss Affia,(all former students) andMiss Fauzia. We are grateful to our local pastor Rev Manzoor Zia, to Mr Inderyas Gill who gives technical advice and practical help, and to local friends and friends far and near who pray and support us. During 2010 we were the beneficiaries of the Bible Society of Scotland used postage stamp appeal and we were very grateful for that help.
We are grateful to the pastors and catechists of the Diocese who find the children who need the help and support of the hostel, and who bring them to us.
Be constant in prayer thanking Him at all times for his provision.
Our future is in His hands and we commit to Him, and to the KNH , the future of the RTC and all the young girls who need the care and support we can give.
Cather W. Nicol
nb KNH is a German Christian charity who has supported the hostel and its work for many years by sponsorship and by direct grants. This is part of the report from the hostel to them.
The charity is no longer able to support the hostel due to various circumstances and causes a major gap in the work.
Up-to-date photos from the girl's hostel in Pakistan - January 2012
St Columba Religious Training Centre