Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visit the culture capital of Pakistan

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They began their day by visiting the SOS Children’s Village, a charitable organisation at the heart of Lahore that provides a home and family structure to over 150 young children. The Duke and Duchess then joined a birthday party for one of the children, which games, music and traditional Pakistani food.

TRH then visited the National Cricket Academy in Lahore. To enjoy Pakistan’s most popular sport they participated in a match with children from the British Council’s DOSTI programme. DOSTI promotes sport as an integral part of children’s development and encourages social integration, increased self-esteem and the development of important life skills. The Duke and Duchess also had the opportunity of meeting Pakistani cricketing icons Waqar Younis, Hasan Ali, Sana Mir and others at this event.

In the afternoon TRH visited the iconic Badshahi Mosque for a tour and a discussion with faith leaders to better understand how they are promoting interfaith harmony within their communities.

Finally, the Duke and Duchess visited to start-of-the-art Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital and Research Centre. This was visited previously by the late Princess of Wales. The Duke and Duchess took time to visit the children’s ward, talking to patients undergoing treatment at the hospital and some of their families.

Notes to Editors

SOS Children’s Village

There are an estimated 4,400,000 orphans in Pakistan. These children face numerous challenges, including limited access to food, education and financial stability. SOS Children’s Village is an international organisation active in 135 countries. Its head office is in Austria.

This is the largest child welfare organisation in the world. It focuses on providing community projects including schools, medical centres, agricultural projects, vocational training and production centres. There are 10 SOS villages in Pakistan. The Children’s Village in Lahore has been running since 1977 and provides a home for 150 children.

SOS Villages aim to provide a home, family and community for the children. They generally comprise of 15 family homes, a community hall, administration offices, mosque, director’s residence, grocery shop, workshop, dispensary, essential staff residences and large playgrounds.

The SOS Village is run through donations and sponsorship. 25% of the funding comes from private donations. Stories of former orphans can be found here

National Cricket Academy Lahore and the DOSTI Programme

The sport event showcases the British Council’s DOSTI programme. This is a ‘sports for peace’ initiative that aims to break social barriers and promote community cohesion. It helps children facing challenges such as gang-related crime or low school retention. It promotes sports as an integral part of children’s lives and demonstrates the benefits to health, social integration, and self-esteem. There will be an opportunity to speak to the children to hear about how sports have helped their everyday lives and community.

The two teams have a mix of boys and girls from underprivileged backgrounds. One team will be captained by a boy and the other by a girl. There are two sets of children: 10 from Karachi (in the South of Pakistan) who will be playing the cricket match, with their age between 10-14 years. 20 from Sheikhupura (a city in Punjab) who will be spectators, with their age between 8-9 years.

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