The new SOS Children's Village in Sialkot, around 100 km north of Lahore, is the eighth in Pakistan and the 451st SOS Children's Village in the world. Construction work started on it at the end of 2002 and families can now move into the 15 family houses. The first small children arrived at the SOS Children's Village on 4 March: 35 children from the region affected by the earthquake near Muzzafarabad, who have been attentively cared for at the SOS Emergency Relief Shelter in Rawalpindi since the devastating disaster at the start of October last year. The children lost their parents as a result of the earthquake or have not yet been reunited with their extended families (see the news from 24 February 2006).
The children were accompanied to the village by the village director. Four family houses are ready for the 35 children; ten orphans from the area around Sialkot have been taken into a fifth family house. The children, who have been through so much over the last few months, received a warm welcome; rose petals were thrown and a festive lunch was served. Many of those supporting the new SOS Children's Village were present with their families and had brought presents for the children.