Search and Rescue
It is still too early to estimate how many children have been orphaned as a result of the devastating earthquake; however, the number is being estimated at several thousand. As the winter continues and living conditions worsen, many families may decide that they cannot adequately care for their children and therefore turn to SOS Children to care for their children during the difficult times. We expect that around 500 children will come into our care, although the number may be much higher and we will plan accordingly.
The “Search and Rescue" operation, through which unaccompanied children are identified, is one such means children come into SOS Children’s care; some 78 children have so far been admitted. Of these children, 31 are currently being cared for at the SOS Children’s Village in Lahore, which is well equipped to provide specialist care to children with a variety of needs.
The organisation has also been offered a spacious building in Rawalpindi, which can accommodate over 200 children. We plan to start moving children there by the end of the year, which will make it far easier for relatives to visit the children.
The SOS Children's Village in Muzaffarabad, which had been due to open just days after the earthquake, has been checked by a team of structural engineers and geologists. Unfortunately, a fault line runs right through the project and six damaged buildings will have to be demolished. We will therefore not re-construct on this site but plan to use this facility as a Youth Home.
Sponsorship sites in Pakistan The damaged houses at the SOS Children's Village in Dhodial will shortly be repaired but unfortunately the planned extension will not be possible due to the unavailability of land. There are a number of orphans in this area and plans are being developed to establish a new village in nearby Batrasi, in addition to villages in Muzaffarabad, Rawalakot and Mirpur. The respective governments have been contacted regarding suitable land.
Relevant Countries: Pakistan.