GardaWorld’s ethic of local engagement and community involvement, manifest in its corporate support for the Shamsa Children’s Village in Afghanistan where over 25 orphans are provided with a safe place to live, secure an education and perhaps most importantly regain the love and warmth of a nurturing family environment.
The orphanage, established in 2012 by the daughter of a religious leader, “is a modern model of Islamic social protection consistent with the best international practices that aim to protect and care for orphaned and abandoned children and vulnerable women in a permanent family environment.”
Shamsa Children’s Village currently has 27 children cared for by a staff of 19 caregivers and has room for 250 children. Each child becomes part of a permanent family unit with an adoptive mother and up to eight brothers and sisters of varying ages. Each “family” has a small private living area at the village designed to shelter and support large families with many children.
The founder and staff of the village hope that the orphanage will become a model replicated throughout Afghanistan, where decades of war have created more than 2 million orphans, 600,000 homeless children and more than one million suffering from post-traumatic stress syndrome, according to figures from the Afghan Department of Orphanages.
In addition to corporate support, GardaWorld staff actively raises money for the orphanage and also provide toys and other hard-to-find supplies for the children. Paul Scott Director of Operations who oversees GardaWorld’s business in Northern Afghanistan and 20 of his colleagues recently completed the Dubai Marathon to raise additional funds for the orphanage.
“Supporting the local community is a core part of our operating model,” emphasizes GardaWorld President Oliver Westmacott. “Our business is not only in the way we provide services to our clients but also in how we interact with the local people to help make their world more secure. Our commitment to the Shamsa Children’s Village enables us to assist the most vulnerable, the children, who are the future of Afghanistan.”