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Pakistan sponsored children
SOS Children's Villages cares for children in twelve locations across Pakistan. From Karachi in the south to Dhodial in the north, we provide a new family and a loving home for vulnerable children across Pakistan. … more about our charity work in Pakistan

Pakistan Kashmir earthquake - six years on

Brothers who found a new home with SOS Children
Brothers who found a new home with SOS Children

On 8 October, it will be six years since the devastating earthquake which affected millions of people in Pakistan and parts of Northern India. SOS Children provided families with Emergency Relief following the quake, and built specific Children’s Villages which today provide a new home for over 200 children who lost their families.

It is estimated that 74,000 people died and over 2.8 million people were left without shelter following the earthquake in 2005. Many children were separated from their families and left alone, struggling to fend for themselves in a chaotic environment.

With an established presence in the country since 1977, SOS Children were able to respond quickly. Just three days after the disaster, we were already distributing relief care packages for more than 1,000 people in Muzaffarabad, one of the worst hit areas. In the following months, we expanded our relief operations further, supporting thousands of survivors across the country with food, water, temporary shelter and blankets. We set up 25 temporary schools to educate children whose schools were destroyed, or who had been displaced following the earthquake.

We also established a ‘search and rescue’ team who identified hundreds of vulnerable unaccompanied children. In the midst of the chaos and devastation, SOS Children set up a registration system and provided care for these children at SOS Emergency Centres in Lahore and Rawalpindi. The President of Pakistan at the time, Pervez Musharraf, declared in an interview that “SOS Children’s Villages is the best custodian of our Kashmiri children”, and appointed SOS Children the legal guardian of all unaccompanied children in the country.

The team from SOS Children worked hard to trace families and reunite children. In many cases reunification was possible. However, many children lost both of their parents in the earthquake, and had no other family to care for them. SOS Children welcomed 224 children into our Children’s Villages in Lahore, Rawalpindi, Sialkot, Dhodial and Faisalabad, where they found a new family in a safe community.

In order to provide a permanent home for even more vulnerable children, SOS Children decided to build four new Children’s Villages in the country, in Quetta, Islamabad, Jamshoro and Muzaffarabad, which was close to the epicentre of the earthquake. The Village in Islamabad is now open, and home to 150 children. The other three Villages remain under construction, but many of the SOS families have already been formed and are staying in temporary accommodation until building is complete.

Following the floods which affected 21 million people in 2010, SOS Children again stepped in to provide immediate Emergency Relief to one million of those worst-affected. We are also helping families to rebuild their homes and livelihoods in the long-term. Read more about our work in Pakistan.