SOS Children's Village Lahore
SOS Children's Village Lahore was the first project to be established in Pakistan. It was officially opened in January 1977 by the President of Pakistan, and is constructed on a ten-acre site donated by the Government of the Punjab. Since the National Office and the National Training Centre are situated next door, this Village plays an important role in imparting training and serving as a model for other SOS Children’s Villages in Pakistan.
Many Children Have Gone on to Lead Happy and Successful Lives
The Village started out with 15 family homes, and another four have been added since; one of which has been donated by Mohammad Afzal, who grew up in this Village and who is now a successful Hong Kong-based businessman. Many children have gone out into the world from this Village, and several are doing remarkably well. They include bankers, IT specialists, army officers, teachers, textile workers and government employees. They are all invited to the reunion of former children, which is organised regularly and provides an opportunity for them to renew their ties. To date, the marriages of 46 girls have been arranged by the Village, with Friends of SOS bearing all the expenses. They regularly visit their former homes and families, along with their own children.
The SOS youth home is located on a property purchased in a nearby area in 1985. This is an old building and is now reaching the end of its utility. We are therefore planning to construct a new youth home as soon as possible, and have been allocated land for this purpose by the Government of the Punjab.
Providing Accessible Education to the Community
When the SOS Children’s Village was first opened, the children were sent to outside schools. However, it soon became apparent that, if they were to be provided a good education, we would have to do this ourselves. It was therefore decided that community schools would be established in conjunction with every SOS Children’s Village. This has several advantages as, not only do our children and those from outside receive a sound education, but it ensures that our children do not grow up in isolation.
The SOS Hermann Gmeiner school, with capacity for over 1500 pupils, was opened in 1989. It has all the requisite facilities for providing quality education, such as well-equipped science, language and computer laboratories, libraries, audio-visual aids and sports facilities. As in all our schools, the fee structure is kept low so that children from less-privileged families can benefit too.
The SOS National Training Centre was completed in 2005 and is used for centralised training of employees from all over the country. It includes spacious classrooms and residential facilities for staff members attending workshops or training courses.
SOS Children's Village Lahore Ferozepur Road, Lahore-54600 Pakistan