Abba Home Orphanage — a shelter house for girls

Girls struggle in finding a refuge, compared to boys, says Ashraf


Mariam Shafqat July 18, 2017
Young girls run in the courtyard in the orphanage; sisters Gulshan, 7, and Khafifa, 6, admire the new Eid outfits given to them by Ghonsla. PHOTO: MYRA IQBAL/EXPRESS

LAHORE: In a society that has limited means and few avenues for rehabilitation of abandoned and underprivileged children, a former school teacher Ashraf Naheed decided to dedicate his time and means to provide shelter to young orphaned girls.

Ashraf with his wife took up a task to adopt a girl in 2005 for the first time, which has now turned into an “Abba Home Orphanage” of 32 girls.

According to Ashraf, his decision to adopt orphan girls is driven by his own childhood experiences when he saw two siblings in his village abandoned by their stepmother and no relatives took them in.

“At that time being a kid myself, i could not do much to help the siblings but the incident left a deep impact on me,” he says.

Ashraf, who calls himself father of 32 girls living at Abba Homes, decides to run the orphanage exclusively for girls as he believes that the cultural norms have left the girls more neglected, making them struggle hard to find a refuge, compared to boys.

“Young girls coming from such unfortunate circumstances are left aloof with no opportunities to make a life of their own and Abba Home is an attempt to empower the oppressed, depressed and deprived orphan girls,” he said.

According to Ashraf, the setup currently strives to provide shelter, medicines, clothing, education, recreational facilities, awareness, skill trainings, relief work and networking with women based non-government community organisations.

He says that other than providing everything that is required for a decent living, their focus has been to empower young girls to a point where they can earn for themselves and become a productive member of the society.

“We also welcome university and college students for weekly classes on extracurricular subjects and training sessions”, he says.

Ashraf and his wife are facing the challenge of running the set-up in a rented building located on Ferozepur Road, Youhanabad despite these efforts. He wishes to be able to provide his daughters with the best of education and to have his own building in the future.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 18th, 2017.

COMMENTS

Replying to X

Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive.

For more information, please see our Comments FAQ

E-Publications

Most Read