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Pakistan, Asia

PAK05a - Adult literacy - Faisalabad

Partnership Ref.:



Azam & Barbara Gill



Funding Status:

Completed - No Funding Required

Partnership Type:

Training / Education, Community / Agriculture Development

Funding Size:

$0 - $2,999

Annual Budget:

US$ 0

Connected To:

PAK01 , PAK01a , PAK01c , PAK01d , PAK05 , PAK06 , PAK06a , PAK08


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Funding Contact:

No funding required


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Population: 184.8 million

Life Expectancy: 66.0 years

GDP: US$1022 per capita

Unemployed: 15.0%

60.3% earn less than US$2/day

Partnership Overview

In early 2012 Azam and Barbara Gill started an adult literacy class in Rawat (PAK05), a suburb on the outskirts of Islamabad. They did this because they discovered that very few men were able to read. Many of the Christians have to leave school before they become literate and so life becomes a real struggle for them. They started an adult literacy class and found that the people very quickly caught on to reading in both Urdu and English. 

Azam comes from a village near to the city of Faisalabad and travels back there from time to time to deal with family matters. In mid 2012 they returned to their village for a funeral and while there discovered that most of the people in the churches in that area could not read. This was having widespread consequences in these rural communities, especially for the young people as the older people did not encourage them to become educated.

village teacherAzam and Barbara decided they wanted to do something about it in this rural area. They found a person who was also concerned about this issue and have decided to commence adult literacy classes in three villages adjacent to the city of Faisalabad. Each village will have a key teacher. They will be focusing just on teaching reading in Urdu as there is little need for English in the villages. The project will be aimed at Christians first as initially they want to empower them, and then to the wider Moslem community. The teachers will be Christians. Most people will require a two year programme of teaching.  

History of Partnership

For a number of years, Azam and Barbara have been concerned about the lack of education amongst the poor in Islamabad. Barbara has started a school and a number of training courses have been initiated to teach women how to sew. The sewing training has been very effective and most of those who have been trained are contributing to their family income. 

BHW has had a relationship with Azam Gill since 2002 after our Field Director met him at an international conference. In 2012 we commenced funding of an adult literacy class in Rawat as a pilot scheme as the Christian men in the community were desperate to learn to read and write. Following a visit to Pakistan by BHW's Field Director in February 2013 where the positive impact of the adult literacy class in Rawat was very evident, it was decided to expand these classes out to the three rural villages near Faisalabad. 


The beneficiaries of this programme will be the men and women in the three villages adjacent to Faisalabad who cannot read. The initial group will be those from the church and when the pilot class has been finished, it will be opened to the whole community. In some cases whole families are attending these classes.

These classes are also assisting the teachers and their families by paying them a regular salary. 

What We Like About The Partnership

They have the training / teaching resources through the school Barbara is developing in Islamabad (PAK06).
They have a key person on the ground in the area. 
They are already successfully running an adult literacy class in Rawat which they see as a pilot for other classes.  


Key People

Leadership Profile

Heart for the poorAzam and Barbara Gill
Azam has been in Christian ministry since the late 1990's and is very passionate about the Good News. He is married to Barbara and they have three children, two boys and one girl. He became a follower of Jesus in 1987 and in 1991 joined Bible School in Pakistan. They are well known and have served the community for many years, especially in Rawalpindi and Islamabad. He has a heart for church planting and development and sees the benefit of providing training and education to the poor in his community. 

They both come from Christian backgrounds, Azam from Christian Brethren and Barbara from Baptist. They are passionate about seeing communities transformed by the power of the Good News and the presence of local churches. Barbara is a school teacher and is leading the development of the training and poverty reduction programmes. Azam is fearless in his proclamation of the gospel and travels around a lot preaching and training people.

Other People Involved

A teacher will be hired in each of the three villages to run the literacy classes. 


Helping the communityVision And Annual Strategy

The vision is to develop a programme that teaches adults, particularly poverty stricken Christian adults, to learn to read and write so they can participate in Pakistani community, obtain decent jobs, earn a reasonable income and value education which will stop them taking their children out of school before they are educated.   

The participants will be taught to read and write in Urdu initially. 


Annual Budget

The annual budget for each village is US$1,320