“From Slavery to Freedom
From making bricks to making dresses”.
In winter of 2020-2021 I met SANA in a brick yard where she had been born 20 years earlier. Like generations of minority girls before her, she would have grown old doing nothing with her life but making two to three million bricks. I asked what her dream was..
I asked Sana what she dreamed of doing if she was free through interpreter and friend Shaffaf Masih. She pondered a few seconds while her eyes looked straight ahead to the horizon of dozens of rows of bricks, the lifetime ‘accomplishments’ of her Grandfather’s and Uncle’s large family, that also put her mother in the brick yard grave. A day of rain could ruin the clay bricks before being fired in the massive furnace, the size of a football field. And the families unjust low pay would be cut in half, even though they get no pay for the two days of prep work. She squinted not from the sun this time, for no one from the outside world had ever asked her, and she answered; “ A dress maker”. Many a bonded labor gal has such a dream.
Mark Christiansen, a boyhood friend now, now board member, and ‘Freedom Broker’, had been tracking what I was doing in Pakistan and following the videos. He called me one day exclaiming “Phil, a girl was telling you her dream of being a dress maker. How can we make that happen; LET’S MAKE THAT HAPPEN.”
Before Mark had called, another close friend, Dave Mulder, now Freedom Cry’s board President, who had been a supporter of the mission from the beginning and his wife Jeann had lost a son tragically, and wanted to set bonded labor families free in Jeremy’s honor. Sana and her sister Sonia would be among the 49 human beings that would be given the rest of their lives a freedom outside the confines of 12 hour, 110 degree work days of their modern day slavery.
The training center is being presently built. Freedom Cry will be in brick and morter in the land of bonded laborers of brick and morter. The first freed girls will be eventually training other ransomed girls in design and sewing in their own village.
When Mark discovered Robina she was living with her three children in one room, the husband having left. Her life was a typical existence as minoirty girls and women of being a servant to a majority religion family. For Robina, serving a wealthy and famous family her meager employment was uniqe. She was the dress and clothing maker to the family. Mark invited her on board the team to train our Sana and Sonia in sewing. This is a ‘before photo’. We believe the rest will be history.