On the outskirts of Lahore, one of Pakistan’s largest cities, a non-government organisation has been running a centre that houses people with special needs.
Founded in 2001, Roshni Association provides a safe haven for individuals whose families are unable to financially and emotionally support their loved ones.
Its founders, Shahida Perveen, a Pakistani social worker, and her husband, Hamid Hannesen, believe that there is still little awareness about special education in the country. They have been focusing on therapy in adults and aim to meet those requirements.
There are currently 50 students at the centre, which charges no fee. Families, however, may contribute whatever little they can.
The centre also houses foreign volunteers who live on campus and work closely with the community. Currently, Alexander Kuehne, from Germany, Micha-Joel Seitz and Anna Natascha Steiner, both from Switzerland, lend their hands in the society’s day-to-day activities.
Students are also encouraged to participate in activities such as wood, textile, and art and craft workshop.
The centre also has a five-acre garden where organic produce is grown and cultivated, and sold in the market earning extra income.