Supporting Pakistani Christian students in their higher education

Our MSSP community in Pakistan leads one of the parishes in the periphery of Lahore City. Besides the pastoral service, the MSSP run a secondary school for boys: starting from playgroup class till the completion of secondary school.

The boys pay a small fee, an average of €2 per month, and most of them do not pay anything at all. Furthermore, we support several of the boys ourselves with books and copybooks. The teachers are paid from MSSP funds. Thus, we ensure that Christian boys do not lose out on their education for financial reasons. Our Parish can be found very near to the industrial estate where a labourer earns 16,000/18,000 Pakistani Rupee (PKR) per month. Then they have to pay PKR 8000/10,000 in monthly rent. Clearly, one can immediately realise why the wife has to work to try and make ends meet. Their combined salaries would definitely provide very little possibility to pay high school fees for their children’s education. Our school is very well equipped: we have a pc laboratory with new and modern technology, two science laboratories etc. We want to offer our boys the best that we can offer in order that they can be well prepared for their future.

The greatest difficulty starts when a student finishes his last secondary year and needs to decide what he is going to do next. In Malta, all the students in higher education receive a monthly stipend to continue their studies. Here, higher education is far too expensive, even in government institutions. From the information that I have already provided on average salaries, it follows clearly that the education leading up to secondary school is already very demanding on the parents. The latter, on their salaries alone, definitely cannot send their children to continue their higher education.

We MSSP Fathers have started a project whereby we support our students in higher education, both boys and girls who have completed their last secondary year, by paying part of their school fees. I am emphasizing only a ‘part’: it is very easy to create a mentality of dependence. The aim is that the parents understand their responsibility to support their children’s education and that they too need to embrace part of the financial burden.

Until now we are supporting over 30 students, boys and girls, in various courses and at different levels. The expense increases every year, as each study course takes between two to four years. And every year there is an additional group of fresh students.

Every donation which we receive is put aside in one fund and from this latter fund, we support the students according to their needs. We ensure that no names and/or addresses are provided to the students as otherwise, they might start begging for money from that individual.

If you would like to help this cause kindly make your contribution in Bank details provided below;
BOV ACCOUNT No.: 4002332690 9
IBAN: MT89VALL22013000000040023326909

We would appreciate if you can kindly let Fr Gerard know by sending an email to [email protected] or Whatsapp: 0092 324 467 9725, in order to confirm that funds have been received in the account. This will also give us the opportunity to say THANK YOU to the donor.

Fr Gerard Bonello mssp, is a Maltese missionary currently based in Pakistan, where he is serving as the provincial superior of the MSSP community there.