Gilgit: (PR) CEENA Health & Welfare Services held two awareness sessions about the issues of disadvantaged children in Sultanabad and Baladul Karim localities of Gilgit city under its USAID Small Grants & Ambassador’s Fund Program-supported project Orphan Care Support. These were part of a series of 10 community awareness sessions held in districts Gilgit, Hunza and Ghizer in which more than 500 men and women were sensitized about the hardships of orphans, children from ultra-poor families and abandoned babies. The purpose of these sessions was to raise awareness as well as motivate communities for local resource mobilization for timely support of needy children.
Community members and leaders in Sultananabd and Baladul Karim were informed about the work CEENA has been doing for vulnerable children since the last 3 decades and the effective role USAID is playing in enhancing and expanding CEENA’s services through Orphan Care Support. The project includes awareness and advocacy campaigns, skills enhancement and support in the education and health of 93 children under CEENA’s care. Case studies were shared with the audience to elaborate on the physical and psychological problems faced by children in the face of emotional loss, financial constraints and heath problems. These problems, in the absence of timely and appropriate intervention by the state and civil society, can lead to extremely dangerous trends among children and adolescents including self-harm and suicide. Parents were advised to show patience and openness towards emotional teenagers.
Participants shared their observations about the particular problems faced by disadvantaged children in their communities. Recommendations were also shared about local resource mobilization through organized initiatives of teams of dedicated volunteers for identification of needy children and motivating eligible sponsors who may assist in ensuring the continuation of their education. Better coordination between existing community organizations and the civil society for better results was also emphasized.
Community leaders thanked CEENA and USAID for the sessions from which they derived valuable lessons. Many of them made commitments to be more involved with community work and coordination with and support for CEENA in their respective capacities.