Diocese helps fund counselling for children after Pakistan school terror attack

Money raised from across the diocese will help fund a counselling service for the children affected by the attack on the Army public school in Peshawar in Pakistan last December.

children led away from school by Pakistan security force - Pakistan Picture AP145 people - including 132 school boys aged between eight and eighteen - were killed after Taliban gunmen broke into the school and opened fire last December.  

A rescue operation was launched by the Pakistan Security Forces who killed all seven terrorists and rescued a further 960 people.

Canon Yaqub Masih, a lay canon at Wakefield Cathedral and the founder and secretary of the charity, New Horizons, which works to build bridges between Christians and Muslims in Pakistan, has just returned from visiting the school in Peshawar to give money donated from businesses and church groups in the Bradford, Huddersfield and Wakefield areas.

He presented a cheque to the school for 600,000 Rupees (about £4,000) . It will be used to appoint a clinical psychologist and social worker for one year to counsel the children affected by the incident.

 

Yaqub was given a tour round the school and offered flowers and prayers at a special place dedicated to all the children who died. He also met some of the teachers caught up in the incident – including one who was shot and injured – they are all now back at work.

 

 

 

 

New Horizons is chaired by Bishop Tony and last year, he and Yaqub travelled to Pakistan to open an interfaith water pump system for the town of Gojra with the Governor of Punjab Mr Mohammed Sarwar. The project was funded with donations from the Diocese of West Yorkshire and the Dales to help build relations and promote peace after nine Christians were burned out of their homes in Gojra in 2009.

The plant provides clean water everyday for over 3,000 people including children at the Church School who are both Christians and Muslims.  And in November 2013 Yaqub went to Pakistan to give 2.5m Rupees to help  the victims of the Peshawar Church Bomb blast – again funds were raised here in the diocese.

While he was in Peshawar, Yaqub, pictured here on the left, was presented with a shield by the Inspector General of Police, Mr Nasir Hussain Durrani in appreciation of his support and work for the Christian community and his stand for justice.

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