Limited space and resources mean that children would be turned away.
We try to accommodate as many children that require help as possible. However, due to limited space and resources, we are unable to tend to the needs of children who need help. Moreover, the recent global recession, compounded by uncertain economic conditions in Pakistan, have further escalated the difficulties for CEENA.
Currently, CEENA has no regular source of income to run its ongoing activities or meet the increasing community demand. While we cannot shut our doors to children and abandoned babies in need, we also cannot operate without help and resources. This is the challenge that CEENA leadership face at this time.
Protecting children in a society where infanticide and honour killings of unwed mothers are not uncommon.
Securing and protecting the lives of unwanted and abandoned babies is a big challenge in a conservative society like that of Gilgit-Baltistan, Pakistan. In these areas, individuals or members of a society are better known through their ancestral roots and tribe lineage. Birth of a baby without a solemnized wedlock of the couple is taken as a serious taboo and dishonor to the family and carries stigma to the entire family and tribe. Thus every year, hundreds of innocent babies are killed or abandoned to die in order to save the family respect in our region, which is one of the most of the conservative societies in the developing world. Honor killing of unwed mothers is rampant across Pakistan, and is the case in Gilgit-Baltistan.
The exact figures and data on abandoned babies are not available, because most of the cases remain unregistered. Most cases have no parents identified, and are not registered due to socio-cultural norms and policy constraints. There is no clear-cut policy and ruling set by the government for such cases and their registration. However, CEENA is working in this field despite a host of problems and challenges. We are trying to save and protect the lives of as many abandoned babies as we can.
CEENA has been successful in creating awareness among the communities but much more needs to be done. Many people still hesitate to cooperate due to socio-cultural barriers. CEENA does not lose time in saving the life of an abandoned baby or a vulnerable child as soon as it gets the first information. So far, CEENA has received and nurtured a number of abandoned babies.
Children with disabilities face even a greater challenge.
As a matter of policy, CEENA does not discriminate in providing services to the abandoned babies and children because of their disabilities. However, families interested in adoption (Kafala) do not want to adopt babies with special needs. These children are sometimes regarded as a burden on families and society. For these children, CEENA is their last hope being the only facility to house such babies and children while providing them level best services.