Sonaikha Nazirs parents died in the church blasts in Peshawar. She is a 14 year old Christian girl who has four other sisters and two brothers. They were orphaned in the attacks and like her many other Christian children were orphaned.
The Cecil and Iris Foundation has set up a skills development center in Peshawar for all such children. This has enabled them to learn sewing and become self sufficient. Widowed mothers are also part of the Women Empowerment Program launched by the CICF to help the victims of the 2013 attack on All Saints Church Peshawar.
On 22nd May 2015, a graduation ceremony was held to honor 19 women who completed the sewing training course and received their diploma. Each woman also got a sewing machine with a one year warranty so that they can start using their skills and earn a living.
May’s course was the second since the program began. A third started on 27 May and will end in July. The foundation expects to train 80 women by next November.
CICF president Michelle Chaudhry is proud of the work done. “Only a year ago, they were weeping uncontrollably, hopeless, frightened and insecure. At present, we see them smile again.
“We are two sisters and my mother was injured in the explosion,” said Melwish Arif, who lost her father and brother in the 2013 suicide attack.