SOS Children in Pakistan
Pakistan was born out of the partition of the Indian sub-continent in 1947 and has faced both domestic political upheavals and regional confrontations. Created to meet the demands of Indian Muslims for their own homeland, Pakistan was originally in two parts. The east wing - present-day Bangladesh - is on the Bay of Bengal bordering India and Burma and the west wing - present-day Pakistan - stretches from the Himalayas down to the Arabian Sea. The break-up of the two wings came in 1971 when the predominantly Bengali-speaking east wing seceded with help from India.
Nearly one third of the country's 140 million people live in absolute poverty. Girls face greater risks to survival, are more subject to violence and abuse, and have less access to education, proper nutrition and health services.
The charity began working in Pakistan in 1977 when the first community was built in Lahore. Today, this SOS Children's community is considered a model for modern child care in Pakistan. It has sixteen family houses and a youth house for the older children where they can take their first guided steps towards independence. Despite concerted efforts by the government, the illiteracy rate in Pakistan remains high at 60 per cent, and in 1989 an SOS School for 1500 nursery, primary and secondary school pupils was opened at Lahore. An SOS Medical Centre provides dental treatment for over 1000 patients a year from the local community.
The charity established a second community in Dhodial in the small town of Masehra in northern Pakistan in 1982. It has fourteen family houses and a youth house in nearby Abbottabad alongside an SOS Vocational Training Centre which offers courses in engineering, plumbing and welding. The integral School can take up to 350 nursery, primary and secondary pupils. An SOS Medical Centre provides basic medical treatment and care for up to 200 local people every month.
The third charity site in Rawalpindi opened in 1989. It has twenty family houses and a youth house which together are home to 250 children and young people. An SOS Vocational Training Centre provides courses in electrical engineering and car mechanics. Over 100 patients a month from the local community receive basic medical treatment and care in the SOS Medical Centre and 300 pupils attend the School, both primary and secondary.
SOS Children Faisalabad was built in 1988. It has fifteen family houses and a youth houses for 35 boys. The village's medical centre treats 200 patients a month and has a small operating theatre. The SOS School has thirteen classrooms for 600 pupils, providing pre-school, primary and secondary level education.
SOS Children's Karachi community opened in 1987 and there is now a youth house along with the original fifteen family houses, with training opportunities to become an electrician or plumber provided in the SOS Vocational Training Centre. The SOS School in Karachi is the largest in Pakistan with room for 1200 pupils, receiving pre-school, primary and secondary education.
SOS Children's Sargodha community opened in 1995. It has fourteen family houses and accommodation for 40 older boys in the youth house an School with 35 classrooms and three science and computer laboratories provides pre-school, primary and secondary education for 1000 pupils.
SOS Children’s Village Multan opened in 2003 with fifteen family houses for 150 children. A primary school has also been built to give education to 120 local children.
Pakistan’s eighth SOS Children’s Village opened in Sialkhot in 2006. There are 15 family houses for 150 children and a nursery school.
A village was due to open in Muzaffarbad in 2005 but was badly damaged by the earthquake in October 2005. An emergency relief programme was set up to help and care for orphaned and abandoned children. This included a paediatric field hospital and provision of safe shelter for orphaned and vulnerable children as well as vulnerable women with or without children.
Another SOS emergency relief programme, for Afghan refugees in Pakistan, started in late 2001. As well as the immediate distribution of warm clothing and medical supplies, long term care is being provided by an SOS medical centre in Peshawar, and a clinic and temporary school in the Shamshatoo refugee camp. Play schemes have been set up in the refugee camps in Askhel and Badaber.
SOS Children's Villages in Pakistan
Lahore 54600 / Pakistan
Tel + 92/42/586 4416 or +92/42/586 6546
Fax+ 92/42/585 2377
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