A father with 42 daughters in Tehran

July 17, 2021 - 17:11

TEHRAN – Akbar Karimi is a married man living in Tehran. He wanted to have a child for 14 years, but his wife could not conceive. The man vowed that God would give him a child so that he could take care of the orphaned girls. Days passed and finally, the wait was over and his vow was fulfilled.

Now, he is the father of 42 daughters.

Akbar and his wife had been living together for 14 years and there was no child in their quiet home. The man wanted to adopt a child, but his wife disagreed.

When he heard that his wife is pregnant, eager to become a father, he tried hard and sought to obtain a license for establishing his own care center, which he finally got in 2010 when his daughter was one year old and started by taking care of 15 orphaned girls.

It has been 11 years now and he has two children named "Reyhaneh and Shokraneh" and 40 orphaned girls who call him “dad”.

He spends 6 hours a day in two branches of the care centers with the girls who miss him and write him letters.

But the life story of these girls is bitter, one of them is a girl who hates the rain and when it rains, she sits in the corner of her room and pulls the curtains.

The bitter story of her homelessness began on a rainy night when her mother hugged her after a phone call and ran into the street in a panic until they were hit by a vehicle and killed her mother, and now the girl lives in this institution.

There were also girls who were adopted and left the center, one of them is Zahra, a 9-year-old girl who was adopted by a man and a woman in a charity event.

Akbar says that since 2010, 30 girls have been living here but have left this institution, two of whom got married and now he has a grandson named “Matin”.

Two more girls are about to get married, and their dowries have been provided by charities.

In this institute, various programs are planned, including girls’ education, employment, and independence, while vocational and scientific courses are offered.

Referring to the outbreak of coronavirus, Karimi said: "During the pandemic, we provided online education for girls to attend various classes in schools and universities."

The two branches of the “Angels” institute have 9 members of the board of directors, 6 of whom are all war veterans and freedmen.

560 children are cared for in welfare centers

Seyed Saeed Aram, an official with Tehran welfare organization said that “some 560 girls and boys live in 30 care centers in Tehran, of which three are state-run centers and 27 non-governmental centers.

Of these 27 non-governmental centers, 13 centers are for boys, 12 for girls, and 2 for children aging 3-6 years old.”

“Girls and boys are empowered in non-governmental centers, as they continue their education and can live independently by acquiring life skills and vocational training,” he noted.

In non-governmental centers, education is provided to these children, including scientific, artistic, cultural, vocational training, counseling, and psychological courses, said Aram.

If girls or boys gain independence after the age of 18 and are able to manage their life, they can be discharged from the centers, otherwise, there is no age limit for attending these centers, he stated.

“Welfare Organization is a bridge between charities and the needy in providing assistance and empowerment to the target community.

These institutions have not only provided support to homeless girls but have also created employment for a number of female-headed households,” he concluded.

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