SWO Solicits Public Generosity

SWO Solicits Public Generosity

Currently, 170,000 individuals are under the umbrella of the State Welfare Organization (SWO) in Tehran Province, said Ahmad Delbari, director general of the provincial SWO, on the sidelines of a press conference at Ameneh Orphanage in Vanak Square.
Stating that the organization’s funds are not adequate to implement all its commitments, he said, “SWO budget should be financed through a mix of funding by government and voluntary contributions.”
He pointed to the ongoing ‘Nights of Kindness’ festival at the orphanage with the slogan ‘Each Iranian, a contributor to SWO’ that started on Sunday, and will run till the end of the holy month of Ramadan. Philanthropists can become members of SWO’s Volunteers Association by filling the forms available at the festival venue, IRNA reported.
 Membership can also be acquired by registering online at the SWO’s website (www.behzistitehran.org.ir).
Other programs of the charity event include an art and crafts exhibition open to the public from 6 pm to 11 pm daily, Delbari said.
With the help of philanthropists, since the beginning of the current year, 8,000 food aid packages have been distributed among the vulnerable people covered by the organization under the national food aid program launched in 2013 that covers 10 million people in 3 million families.

 People on Welfare
Stating that the SWO alone cannot resolve all social problems, he said among those under its patronage, there are 16,300 individuals who need housing assistance, 7,300 costly medical treatment, 4,645 need financial support for education, and 24,600 are unemployed.
Emphasizing the need for people to be more charitable through voluntary contributions and donations, he said in Tehran Province alone there are 16,000 unidentified disabled old people living in the SWO welfare centers, including 44 semi-private centers working under its supervision.
The SWO also pays monthly cash allowance of $115 for the care of each elderly person who doesn’t have a family. For seniors who have families, $105 is paid for their upkeep by the families.
In the past year that ended in March, 1,028 disabled old people were handed over to SWO centers across the capital, among whom 24% were abandoned and unidentified.
The problem of abandoned elderly people is even worse than that of children, as nobody adopts them, and provision of long-term care to them has imposed a heavy financial burden on the government, the official said.

 Adoption of Babies
“At present, 400 babies are taken care of at SWO’s four nurseries in the province. Last year, 556 babies were handed to the welfare centers, among whom 340 were adopted.”
“Fortunately, many families (on an average 7.5 families daily) are waiting to adopt. However the figure is not same for all children; while healthy children under the age of six months are more in demand for adoption, few people are willing to take custody of older children or children with health problems,” Delbari said.
About 31% of the babies in the provincial welfare centers had parents addicted to illegal drugs and 25% were abandoned; 7% were children of prisoners, 6% children of divorced parents, 5% orphans and 3% abused by their parents; 9% were children of disabled parents, and the rest had parents who were unable to keep them because of other reasons.
About half of the children were handed to the welfare centers by the social emergency centers, he added. 

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