Pakistani Youth Education Fund


Vice President of the Foundation PYEF

Dr. S Pancham handing over the cheque to the President of the Foundation Bishop Michael Oulton

For Contributions towards PYEF
please contact our CEO Mr. Samuel Laldin

We have reached to the amount $45,000.00 and hope that by spring 2018 we will reach to $50K. This will give us $2500.00 annually for the educational bursary for the orphan/needy students in Pakistan

Sam Laldin,left, & Bishop Michael Oulton. (Chris O’Gorman/For The Whig-Standard)

A Kingston-based seniors group is getting a helping hand from the Anglican Church of Canada to launch a bursary program for children orphaned by a church bombing in northern Pakistan.

On Sept. 22, 2013, a twin suicide-bomb attack killed 127 people and injured more than 250 at All Saints Church in Peshawar, Pakistan. The attack also orphaned 41 children. It was the deadliest attack against the Pakistani Christian minority in the country’s history, according to the Associated Press.

As the two-year anniversary of the attack approaches, the Christian Cultural Association of South Asians, a Canadian seniors organization headquartered in Kingston, is hoping to deliver bursaries to four to five students and fund an education that might not otherwise happen.

The fund, called Pakistani Youth Education, or PYE, received a $10,000 donation from Bishop Michael Oulton on behalf of the Anglican Diocese of Ontario to set up the education fund.

“For us in the Diocese of Ontario to be able to partner with the CCASA, to be able to partner with our sister church in Pakistan, to be able to reach out and make that difference, I think it’s an amazing opportunity and I’m just thrilled we can be a part of it,” Oulton said.

He added that he and the church were happy to support a “positive effort to alleviate the horror that’s being experienced in the area.” Inspired by stories of Muslims in the community forming a human chain around the church the Sunday after the attack, the bishop said it was important to promote interfaith learning and communication.

“The aim of the terrorists is to provoke reaction, to provoke response, to provoke a violent response. It’s courageous to stand up in the face of that persecution and say, ‘That’s not a path that we’re willing to walk down. We choose a different path,’” he said, calling education the “Achilles heel” of terrorism. “If we can help them to walk that path by supporting them with this particular initiative, then we’re doing something that can make a huge difference.”

Before the attack, Sam Laldin, the CCASA’s chairman and chief executive officer, said the church was a historic and beautiful building, serving as a safe haven and central gathering place for the community.

After the devastation, Laldin said, his organization knew something had to be done, not only because many of people in it are South Asian — the region that includes Pakistan — but because it was an opportunity to make a difference.

“They receive the emergency money, but when that is gone, what about these kids? What’s left for them? They need education,” Laldin said. “So we thought, ‘why don’t we put our efforts towards creating some funds to provide money for their education.’”

The seniors group had raised money for various causes before, but this was one of its more ambitious undertakings, and Laldin said he didn’t have any prior experience putting together a bursary fund. Originally, the goal was to raise $7,000, but Oulton offered $10,000.

“That was really encouraging and I thought, ‘gee, I must be doing something right,’” Laldin said.

Not only did Oulton offer the sizeable donation, but also offered to house the entire fund in the Anglican Church’s Consolidated Investment Fund so it could produce more interest and increase the number of bursaries in the future.

Laldin now hopes to elicit donations from the wider community. Already an aid group in the U.K. offered to donate 500 pounds ($925) to the education fund.

Persecution of religious minorities around the world, including Christians, is an issue close to Oulton’s heart. He said he hopes to “wash away” the feelings of hopelessness and despair caused by division and violence in the area.

“Opportunities like this allow us, as Christians, to be a reconciling force in the world rather than a force of division,” he said.

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