Sindh Privince, Pakistan
With difficulty while speaking in Urdu, I was able to manage to ask this young lady if I could take her picture along with her artwork of Mother Mary. She gladly said yes and gave a beautiful smile as I clicked away. Her name is Alishba. She is a Parkari Kholi, the biggest tribal group that we minister here in Badin parish (Pakistan) including the Punjabi and Sindhi Bheel communities. I met her when we visited her village along with Columban Fr. Tony Cavanaugh and a local catechist to give food packages for some of the flood victims.
On many occasions when we go to the villages for Mass and visitations, I usually find myself talking with the women. I was chatting with her cousin when Alishba joined in our conversation. While we were talking, her cousin mentioned that she is talented in drawing.
I witness a lot of creativity and artistry as I walk with the women and children in the villages in the parish.
In preparations for Christmas, Alishba had made a sketch of Santa Claus and the reindeer on the wall of their house. She also showed me her drawing of Mama Mary. I could not help but ask her for a picture holding it. When I took her picture, I purposely made her stand on the side of the wall where she drew Santa.
I witness a lot of creativity and artistry as I walk with the women and children in the villages in the parish. There could a lot of possibilities for young girls like Alishba with that kind of talent who could help their families out of poverty. Unfortunately, given many factors, there is only so much they can do. What I can do best is continue to walk with them. Before we left, I encouraged her to continue what she is doing.
Columban lay missionary Hazel Angwani lives and works in Pakistan.