Child Welfare & Orphan Sponsorship
Since 1993, we have supported over 10,000 orphans across Pakistan. At the moment, we are carrying out Orphan Sponsorship Programmes, where we offer support to orphan children on a one-to-one basis. In 2016, we reached the milestone of currently supporting over 5,000. Children whose fathers have passed away are supported with money for their education and other needs, while also being provided with extra motivation and support.
The key goal of this programme is to assist the neediest orphan children to secure their basic rights. The sphere of benefits is not confined only to the sponsored child; rather it is stretched down to family and community levels. According to an assessment report undertaken by an IRP team member, sponsored orphan families meet 40% to 80% of their household needs through the IR sponsorship programme.
At present, Rawalpindi and Islamabad, Azad Kashmir and Mansehra are the key target areas of this programme where besides sponsorship other development interventions are also being carried out. In order to reach out to the most vulnerable families the programme has adopted a vulnerability scoring mechanism. Loss of livelihood brings tremendous hardships and sufferings to orphan children and their mothers. Due to such financial crises, the family is forced to withdraw children from schools and make them work in hazardous places like auto workshops, kilns, factories etc. This programme has not just contributed in decreasing school dropouts but played a vital role in eliminating the factor of early child marriage among orphan girls in its target areas. OTO programme provides mothers with an opportunity to educate their children and escape the vicious circle of poverty.
A positive impact can be observed on the nutritional status of children, household condition and education of the sponsored child as well as his/her siblings after receiving the sponsorship money. In many cases where mothers or guardians of the sponsored children work as domestic servants, the support gives them more time to care for their children, as after receiving the sponsorship; they have extra income which enables them to reduce some work hours. Those families who live in small and unhygienic rented houses shift to better homes. Some of the orphans go to private schools after the start of the sponsorship for a better quality education.
Islamic Relief is working to expand the orphans support programme, reaching orphan children all across Pakistan through sustainable and integrated approaches.