SR. GERTRUDE LEMMENS
Dar ul Sukun center for the older people not only strives for the rights for the older population but also provides protection, care and Social-rehabilitation to the susceptible older people. Dar ul Sukun Centre for the Older People campaigns for better policies and services for older people. Since our foundation in 1983 we have worked to empower older people to live full lives as actively engaged citizens; helping to secure their right to comprehensive high quality services according to their changing needs. We also provide a range of services for older people, including protection, care, rehabilitation, medical, health & nutrition and social rehabilitation. Since its inception in 1969, Dar ul Sukun has aimed to serve as many vulnerable and marginalized individuals as possible; particularly those that have been ostracized from their families and communities for being different. In addition to children with disabilities, a large group of such individuals belonged to the category of elderly people. These individuals faced challenges, either physical or psychological, as a natural process of aging and were left all alone; abandoned by their families or often lost, straying far from home due to their mental condition. Initially, Dar ul Sukun started providing shelter to these elderly people along with the disabled children it served and soon, the first Dar ul Sukun Home became a shelter for a mix group of residents that included children with physical and cognitive disabilities, children requiring intensive care due to critical disability, socially displaced girls, and elderly people. This of course was not a practical situation, particularly as each group of people and individuals had different needs. As a result, a home for elderly people was established in 1983 in Catholic Colony 2, Karachi that was operated by devoted nuns from the order of the Franciscan Sisters of Christ the King. Committed professional staff was also employed to provide care for the elderly residents as required. However, the premises were too small to accommodate the growing number of individuals that required care and support. In 2012, Dar ul Sukun planned to construct a purpose built building to support needs of elderly residents. The project kicked of in January 2012 and construction was completed in record time by December 2013. The physical infrastructure was designed to include living rooms, dormitories and customized activity areas to cater to the need of elderly people. Design of premises was conceived after visiting and assessing facilities and arrangements of several similar institutions to ensure that living space is designed appropriately for elderly residents. Dar ul Sukun promotes opportunities and services to support good lives for older people overlooked in society through the establishment of its COP where individuals receive lifetime residential and rehabilitation facilities.
From the heart of suffering we can draw inspiration which characterizes my story of tally devoting career to the people we serve.