LAHORE - Early Eid jubilance erupted in the SOS Children’s Village when Artho’s indulged the residents of the village in a pre-Eid, Iftar party where gifts were handed out and smiles were exchanged. Artho’s team arranged a beautiful Iftar dinner in the lawn of village.

Magician played magic tricks for kids and goody bags were handed out. Bangles and Henna for young ladies and small knick knacks for children and everyone got a greeting card.

Artho’s (Always Ready To Help Others) is an Islamabad based non-profit organization comprising volunteer students, who have been doing the welfare work ever since flood hit the Pakistan in 2010. Artho’s members and volunteers have been conducting roadside iftars &and distributing provisions for needy families in Ramazan but their good work continues throughout the year.

In his chat with The Nation, the managing director of Artho’s, Ikram-ur-Rehaman said that SOS has always been close to our hearts. We celebrate every Eid day in SOS Islamabad so we did a pre Eid celebration here.

“We want these kids to know that are not misfits but an important part of our community,” Ikram said.

He also mentioned that our organization is run by youngsters who are members and volunteers and they get funds from either from people who donate through their website. We do not have any affiliations with politicians.

“We do this as much for the less fortunate as for ourselves. The kind of peace we found in knowledge that we are trying to bring a change is quite rare and utterly beautiful,” Ikram was of the view.

The evening concluded in smiles and selfies. The kids of SOS enjoyed with Artho’s team and were appreciative of their efforts. A few celebrity guests also presided over the event.

The Nation also had a talk with the Village Director of SOS, the inspiring Miss. Almas Butt who was kind enough to give a tour of the facility and also told a brief history of SOS.

SOS Children’s Villages are an international project for orphans that have been striving to make the world a better place for those unfortunate little souls ever since the WWII. It was founded by an Austrian student Herman Gmeiner in 1949 for all those children who were orphaned or abandoned during the chaos of Great War.

The initiation of this programme in Pakistan is credited to the Souriya Anwar who is the president of SOS children’s Villages in Pakistan. The land was donated by the government of Punjab for the first SOS village in Lahore. Now it has villages in over 12 districts including all major cities. SOS children’s villages are unique in their method of operation they are not at all like average orphanages in Pakistan. SOS believes every child is entitled to a mother, siblings, a home and a community (Village).and they provide them with these basic rights. Each village has around 19 houses where a mother is provided for an average of 8 children who live as siblings. SOS facility also provides a school with its own administration like every other school and a youth home for the boys from village who reach teen age.

“SOS children’s village provides a wholesome atmosphere for kids to flourish and our success stories proved that we succeeding in what we set out to do,” says Miss Almas.

The children after school go to prestigious Pakistani institutes where they get their professional training and join the practical life as accomplished adults. The girls leave here when married and boys when they are settled in their jobs. We admit kids who have lost both their parents and do our best to make up for their loss.

“There are currently 137 children residing at SOS. We stopped dealings with adoptions ever since Child Protection Bureau was formed. We get our funding from Pakistanis here or from abroad. “Some of our children have now grown up and are well established help us in our cause,” Almas said.