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May 21, 2019

Setting anew precedent of care: Aghosh homes accommodating 900 orphans


May 21, 2019

PESHAWAR: The Al-Khidmat Foundation is a setting new precedent of exemplary care for the helpless children for everyone to follow.

The foundation, which is a non-profit, non-government body, has adopted a two-pronged policy to look after the orphan children.

The prime focus of the body is to provide quality education to these children so that they may not lag behind other children of the society.

For the purpose, they have not only set up state-of-the-art boarding houses for orphans across the country under the title of Aghosh homes but are also providing financial assistance to orphans in their homes for education.

A total of 11 Aghosh homes have been set up across the country so far where nearly 900 orphans are enrolled.

In Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, a total of four Aghosh homes are operational, where some 400 orphan children have been accommodated.

Similarly, two new Aghosh centres are under construction in Kohat and Chitral districts. The Aghosh home Kohat is a big project with a capacity to accommodate 200 children, which would be completed at a cost of Rs130 million.

Those associated with the initiative said the children admitted to these centres are provided with the best living facilities and education at the leading schools and colleges of the province.

The cost on each child admitted to the Aghosh homes ranges from Rs10,000 to Rs12,000 per month. The funds are provided by well-off people in the country and abroad through donations.

Similarly, over 12,000 orphan children in the province are provided financial assistance at homes for their education.

An amount of Rs3,500 is given to each orphan child for his/her education. The disbursement is strictly monitored by the foundation.

The Aghosh Peshawar is one of the orphanages functional in the province where 100 orphan children are admitted.

The Al-Khidmat Foundation arranged a visit of some journalists to the Aghosh centre. The journalists were briefed by the provincial president of Al-Khidmat Foundation Khalid Waqas and national director Aghosh Homes Shakirullah Siddique.

Located at the Sardar Garhi on the GT Road, the two-storey building is spread on an area of eight kanals land. The management said it provided the best accommodation facility to the orphan children.

The media persons were taken to each and every section of the orphanage, which had been well maintained.

The centre has nearly 20 living rooms and a maximum of six children are accommodated in each room.

Different sections of the orphanage are monitored 24/7 through closed-circuit cameras.

Quality food is provided to the inmates and their every need is met. The children living in the orphanage are enrolled in leading schools of the city like Peshawar Model School, Forward Model School, Muslim Public School and others.

According to Shakir Siddique, orphan students from the Aghosh homes have also qualified for medical colleges and some of them are studying there.

He said the children stayed at Aghosh homes till intermediate after which they are either enrolled at professional colleges or assisted in launching some business.

About one of the orphan currently studying in fourth-year MBBS, he said that he had been brought to the pioneer Aghosh Home in Attock when both his parents died in the 2005 deadly earthquake.

He was kept and educated there. He was so brilliant in his studies that he qualified the test for admission to medical college and he was enrolled there.

Khalid Waqas said that according to the UN, some 4.2 million orphan children are in the country. A major portion of them is living in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

Very small numbers of the orphan children are given support by own families, while the government and all the charity organisations extend cover to only one percent of the rest, he added.

He said these children need immediate attention of the well-off people and government institutions.

Khalid Waqas urged the well-to-do people to extend maximum support to the orphan kids and help make them productive citizens of the society.

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