Dar-ul-Sukun originated as a home for the physically and mentally handicapped children. It was founded on 17th February 1969 by a Dutch nun, Sr. Gertrude Lemmens who came to Pakistan as a visitor in her full youth. She was so much touched by the pathetic condition of mentally and physically disabled children spotted on street corners and in/around the city garbage tubs that she chose to devote her life for the care of such children in Pakistan.
Sr. Gertrude started with eight (8) children and by the passage of time, in the main center alone, this number has increased to more than 160 special people who were found on street corner, bought in by social workers, police and relatives. Dar ul Sukun is Sr. Gertrude’s brainchild and dream. However, a team of six (6) sisters (nuns) who worked with selfless love and affection turned it into a glaring reality and a brand name in field of philanthropic work in Pakistan. These dedicated sisters include Sr. M. Mathilda Pereira, Sr.Ruth Lewis, Sr. Angela, Sr. Immuculata, Sr. Agnes.
Since Sr. Gertrude’s demise on October 27th, 2000 after a short illness, Sr. Ruth Lewis has assumed the frontal role for carrying on the mission of Dar ul Sukun. She is assisted by Mother Mathilda Pereira who has been a ceremonial successor of Sr. Gertrude. Major part of administrative and operational functions is formally performed by Sr. Ruth due to Mother’s prolong ill-health and old age. Also, Dar ul Sukun enjoys the voluntary support of committed board members who also happen to be prominent figures in religious, social and business life.
Overtime, Dar ul Sukun has grown into a large organization with network of homes mainly in Karachi city and around the country. Programmatically, in Karachi alone, the scope of service has expanded into various dimensions including work for socially displaced girls and women, senior citizens, education and skill scholarship for poor students and family adaptation scheme etc. A new initiative, Quetta center for parentless and displaced children started operation end of 2007 while restructuring of twenty-year old Lahore center meant for polio affected girls is underway. In terms of physical infrastructure development, the construction of a new modern building of Dar-ul-Sukun main center was completed in 2004. Recently with the financial assistance of Dutch hockey federation, renovation of Dar ul Sukun’s old building was accomplished and turned into a children complex for providing them more spacious and comfortable place with a garden and elevator facility. In the pipeline and about to commence is the demolition and reconstruction of Dug-out building.