Established in: 1999
Themes & Interventions: Education, Economic Empowerment, Disability
What We Do: Advocacy, Service Delivery
Head Office at Lahore
Roshni Association, Karbath Soling, Bedian Road, Lahore. P.O.Box 11073 D.H.A. Lahore.
Shahida Perveen (Waldorf Teacher) and her husband Hellmut Hannesen (Ex. General Secretary of the “Verband für Anthroposophische Heilpädagogik Deutschland” i.e. Organization for Athroposophic Curative Education, Germany) often visited Pakistan from Germany. It became very clear to both Hellmut and Shahida that in Pakistan the need for support and care for people with special needs was immense. Hence, in cooperation with the Amin Maktab, Centre for Special Education in Lahore, the planning for a care centre with workshops began.
In 1999, the couple met Mrs. Nasira Mahmood in Lahore. Her husband, Mr. Mahmood Aslam had founded a "Society for the Welfare of Special Persons" in 1996 with the goal to set up a “Community Centre for Special Persons”. However, shortly after founding the society he passed away, leaving his plans unrealized. Mrs. Nasira offered to Mrs. Shahida to use this NGO and bring it to life. Therefore, in 1999, Mrs. Shahida was appointed as President of the association and its name was changed to “Roshni Association, Society for the Welfare of Special Persons”.
During the years 1998 - 2000 many fund-raising campaigns were launched to enable Shahida and Hellmut Hannesen, as well as Lars Jamke and Graham Simpson (both of whom are curative teachers), to move to Lahore. Thus, in March 2001, with the purchase and development of property, a community for adults with special needs was established. After much preparation, the work began with a day care centre, which opened its doors on September 3, 2001. As a result of the continuous struggles of the Roshni team and staunch support from donors in both Pakistan and Germany the organization was able to purchase and develop its own property in Karbath Soling, off Bedian Road, Lahore, Pakistan, in 2005.
There was space on these new premises for various workshops, gardens and a community house, thus giving a home to people with special needs and enabling a spirited community life to arise. Since 2005, the property as well as the different fields of work has never stopped expanding.
To name a few additional accomplishments of Roshni in 2005, Green Earth Roshni School in collaboration with Green Earth Recycling Factory in Hayr, opened its doors to the children of workers of the factory and of the surrounding villages. The school is now working to its full capacity and needs expansion to provide quality education to more children.
In 2008, the construction of the second community house at Roshni began, which was completed in 2010. The new house was sufficient to provide residential facility to 15 more special friends. Despite this great achievement, due to the poor health of Mr. Hellmut Hannesen, Ms. Shahida Perveen, along with her family, had to leave Pakistan in 2010. They now reside in Witten, Germany where Mr. Hellmut Hannesen is undergoing treatment for his deteriorating health. However, they still regularly visit Roshni to provide their valuable guidance and support for the improvement of the community and the school.
Upon Mr. Hellmut’s illness, Mr. Farooq Ahmad, was elected as the next General Secretary of Roshni Association (from 2010 to 2012), who took the challange of managing the community in the absence of the two founders. The new Board Members successfully maintained the quality of work of both projects. Now, Mr. Muhammad Zahid Durrani is leading the organization, as the third General Secretary of Roshni Association.
The Roshni Family keeps growing, adding more and more special people, volunteers, employees and providing new and better facilities. In July 2015, a solar power system of 8kW, with a backup of 2 hours, was installed to provide better quality of life to our special friends. They system is now constantly supplying electricity to both the houses and workshops.
The growing number of special people wanting to live in means that the construction of a third community house is essential. For this purpose we are campaigning to acquire the requisite funds.
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