SOS Children’s Villages Pakistan is a private social welfare organization dedicated to providing homes for orphans and abandoned children. The special feature of SOS Children Villages is that they are not traditional orphanages: they provide children with a warm, family type environment.
Every effort is made to enrich children with strong moral values, sound education and skills that will enable them to become productive and dependable citizens.
The primary need of children deprived of their natural parents is to be placed in a situation which is as close as possible to a natural home.
SOS Children’s Villages meet this need by providing them with security and loving care. They are enabled to live normal lives and instilled with a sense of confidence so that they can develop to their full potential.
We play the role of their family and provide them with higher education or job training according to their aptitude. We are working towards the day when we will be able to provide shelter to every deserving child in the country. We consider this a realistic target as we admit only those children who are either complete orphans or, those we categorize as ‘social’ orphans, i.e. those whose mothers cannot keep them because they have remarried or they have an incurable disease such as cancer or mental illness.
SOS Children’s Villages of Pakistan is affiliated with SOS International, which is the umbrella organization, with its head office in Innsbruck, Austria. It is one of 135 member associations in different countries, many of them being in Asia, Africa and South America. SOS International is the largest child welfare organization in the world and has so far established over 2700 projects, with the number steadily increasing. Many of the facilities are community projects such as schools, medical centres, agricultural projects, vocational training and production centres.
The philosophy of SOS is simple and very basic. Every child has the right to good nurturing.
To provide the children with a normal environment, four principles are adhered to, and form the basis of all the work of the organization.
- A Mother
- Brothers and Sisters
- A Home
- The Village
The Mother is the person with whom the ultimate responsibility rests for meeting the child’s physical and emotional needs, and for providing essential love and care. In the final analysis the quality of care provided by the mother determines the success of our efforts. The SOS ‘mothers’ are selected with great care. They are usually single women, often widows without their own families and are thus able to commit themselves completely to the responsibility of being in an SOS Village. By employing such women SOS also contributes towards their rehabilitation and provides them with a congenial and secure environment.
Brothers and Sisters are essential in any family pattern. Boys and girls of various ages grow up together as brothers and sisters. Real brothers and sisters are not separated and are always accommodated in the same house. On reaching adolescence the boys are shifted to a Youth Home.
The Home is the focal point of the Village. Here the children find security, a feeling of ‘belonging’ and having their own place in the world. An SOS home is a self-contained unit and is as close as possible to a normal home in all respects. Every house consists of a living area, kitchen, separate bedrooms for girls and boys and a small room for the mother. A kitchen garden is maintained by the family.
The Village is the community in which the child lives and finds shelter and support from other members of this ‘family’.
An SOS Village is generally comprised of 15 family homes, community hall, administration office, mosque, director’s residence, grocery shop, workshop, dispensary, essential staff residences and adequate playgrounds.
Religious instruction is an integral part of the children’s routine. Extra curricular activities are also organized in which the children enthusiastically participate. Scouting, Girl Guides, games, cooking classes, art classes and sewing are some of the many diverse activities available to them. Activity areas according to age groups are included in the Village facilities. They are periodically taken on trips outside the Village and take part in many community activities with other children. Page 3 of 5 Since many of the children have experienced difficult situations in life, including violence, neglect and rejection they are often traumatized and insecure. Psychological counseling is available for such children. In short, they are provided every opportunity to develop into happy, confident and well adjusted personalities.
A special feature of SOS Children’s Villages is that the organization takes responsibility for the children in its care till they are able to support themselves. After matriculation both boys and girls receive career counseling. Higher education is provided to those with merit and, otherwise, technical education. The boys remain in our care till they are capable of earning their livelihood and girls till such time as they are married. The marriages of the girls are arranged by the organization.
SOS Children’s Villages of Pakistan is financed through the support of private individuals, philanthropists, foundations and the corporate sector.
Land for all projects has been donated by the respective provincial governments but financing, both for the construction of new projects and maintenance of the children, is through sponsorship and donations from the public.
All SOS projects in Pakistan are being funded through our own initiatives, both for the establishment of new projects and running costs. The majority of SOS projects are in the developing world and of these, Pakistan is one of the countries which is self-financed. We are very proud of this achievement, which has been made possible through the generosity of thousands of concerned people who support our efforts.
Fundraising is an essential part of our work and we seek the support of individuals and the corporate sector for the construction of projects and sponsorship of the children. To continue to expand and reach out to deserving children in all parts of the country, we urgently need contributions from more donors.
SOS Pakistan Projects SOS
Children’s Villages of Pakistan was founded in 1975. The first project to be opened was the SOS Children’s Village in Lahore and since then over 55 projects have been established.
We consider that a good education is the greatest gift we can give our children and for this purpose establish schools in conjunction with every SOS Children’s Village. These schools provide quality education, not only to our children, but also other underprivileged children. Outside children far outnumber the SOS children and thus these schools serve a dual purpose – they enable our children to integrate with the community and also contribute to the vital sector of education.
SOS Youth Homes
Are opened wherever we have SOS Children’s Villages and boys are shifted upon reaching adolescence.
Those with merit receive higher education, otherwise technical training. They do not leave our care till such time as they are able to earn their livelihood.
After Leaving SOS
The ultimate proof of our success is the assimilation of our children into the mainstream. So far several hundred children have passed through our hands and are generally well-settled in life.
They are working in diverse fields such as banking, computer companies, teaching, industry, the armed forces and private enterprise. The girls are also encouraged to train for careers and their marriages are also arranged by us.
They return once a year for a reunion and, otherwise too, keep in touch. We are always available to applaud their success or lend a helping hand.
How You Can Help
- Make an educational endowment Rs.1,000 per month
- Partial sponsorship of a child Rs.5,000 per month
- Complete sponsorship of a child Rs.10,000 per month
- Complete sponsorship of a family of ten Rs.100,000 per month
- Donate a family home Rs.5 million
- Complete SOS Village for 15 families *Rs.150-200 million approx
(Make a donation small or large *Construction costs vary from one region to another).