SOS Children's Villages Dhodial
SOS Children's Village Dhodial was the second Village to be established in Pakistan and is situated on land donated by the Government of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province (KP). It opened in October 1982 with only five family homes, but more have gradually been added to make up the full complement of 16. These now provide a home for up to 200 children, including the youth home.
Dhodial is located near Baffa, between Mansehra and Shinkiari in the Mansehra District of Pakistan. The river Siren flows alongside the town and the land is very fertile. The population was badly affected by the 2005 Pakistan earthquake. SOS Children’s Village Dhodial is situated in an open valley on the fabled Silk Route, against the backdrop of mountains, making this the most picturesque location in the country. It is, quite understandably, a favourite destination for children from other SOS Children’s Villages in the summer holidays. An SOS medical centre provides treatment and care for the families in the SOS Children’s Village.
Education and Training for Boys and Girls
The SOS school and college are adjacent to the Village and also cater to the outside community, with places for up to 700 pupils. This has been upgraded to intermediate level and brings good educational facilities to this remote area. It is a matter of great credit that the children are academically high achievers and many of them have excelled in their pursuit of higher education.
A skills training centre for girls is part of the complex, and sewing, knitting and embroidery are some of the popular subjects. Here, too, girls from the community are welcome.
An emergency shelter for earthquake orphans was established in rented premises near the SOS Children’s Village. Over 50 children initially took shelter here and subsequently moved to SOS Children’s Village Dhodial. The Government of the KP has also been approached for the grant of a suitable site.
The SOS youth home is situated in Abbottabad, and the boys attend local schools and colleges. In the evening, they attend classes in the adjacent SOS vocational training centre, which provides facilities for training in the trades of electricians and welders, as well as computer skills. Successful students are awarded certificates from the Skill Development Centre in Peshawar.
Extra-Curricular Activities are Available to All
Facilities for sports have been upgraded in both the Village and youth home, with the basketball and volleyball courts used daily. Physical training and karate instructors are also conducting courses. Besides this, the children have the advantage of being included in appropriate programmes of the Adventure Foundation, which include skiing, trekking, camping and rock climbing.
SOS Children's Village Association of K.P.K C/O Iqra Academy, Mandian, Abbottabad, K.P.K.