Navigating Challenges

“My sons dare to dream of a different future—one where they can contribute positively to society.”

I am Wazir Ali, a 26-year-old resident of Haroon Shaikh Goth, Hyderabad, Pakistan. Married for a decade, my family consists of my wife, two daughters, and two sons. A unique challenge graces our household—both my sons, Dilawar Gul Hasan and Sultan, have been blind since birth. Despite these challenges, we navigate life with determination, empowered by the transformative contributions of HANDS.
Our journey with HANDS began during the devastating 2022 rains and floods. Forced to evacuate our home and endure a period of displacement, we faced financial hardships and uncertainty about our future. HANDS, conducting surveys in the aftermath, noted the extensive damage to our village. Swiftly responding to our plight, HANDS distributed financial aid, providing each affected family, including ours, with PKR 75,000 initially. This sum allowed us to install a damp-proof course (DPC), followed by an additional PKR 100,000 for roof construction, enabling us to rebuild our homes.
However, the challenges persisted, particularly concerning the visual impairment of my sons. Financial constraints hindered seeking treatment or a transplant, and my occupation as a daily-wage laborer offered no stability. The unpredictable nature of work left us without income for weeks, sometimes even a whole month. Agricultural opportunities were scarce, exacerbating our struggles during the winter months.
HANDS, aware of our plight, extended support beyond monetary aid. Recognizing the difficulties faced by our four disabled children, including my two sons and my maternal uncle’s two children, HANDS constructed accessible pathways to enhance their mobility. This thoughtful initiative not only eliminated the risk of injuries from thorns and falls but also granted them independence in daily activities, such as going to the bathroom or venturing to the market.

Moreover, HANDS addressed another critical need by constructing public washrooms for our community, significantly improving hygiene and convenience. The impact of these efforts has been transformative, making life more comfortable for all of us.
The challenges in educating our sons, however, persisted. Lacking a school for the blind in our vicinity, we faced the financial burden of commuting to Rashidabad, which was beyond our means. Despite our aspirations, we could not afford the expenses, and the existing local schools were ill-equipped to cater to the needs of blind students.
HANDS not only played a pivotal role in addressing immediate needs but also contributed to the long-term well-being of our community. They constructed 45-50 houses on elevated areas, safeguarding our homes from future rain and flood threats.
Despite the challenges, our dreams remain resilient. My son, Dilawar, aspires to become a Hafiz-e-Quran and follow in the footsteps of HANDS’ dedicated officers. His vision includes not only teaching but also helping people in need. I hope that a school for the blind is established nearby, allowing blind children to pursue education without imposing financial burdens on families like ours.
Reflecting on my educational journey, I could not proceed beyond grade 5 due to financial constraints. My siblings, like me, are laborers in the village, perpetuating a cycle of limited opportunities. However, through HANDS, my sons dare to dream of a different future—one where they can contribute positively to society.
I remain grateful for the support HANDS has provided, transforming challenges into opportunities. As my sons yearn for education, I hope that their dreams become reality, breaking the cycle of limited possibilities in our village.

Housing – A ray of hope for flood-affected population

The Government of Sindh has launched a comprehensive housing construction project to support all the households damaged by the 2022 floods. A dedicated Section of 42 companies has been established for the design and execution of this housing reconstruction program, which will also serve as the (PIU) for the proposed project. World Bank-financed Sindh Floods Housing Reconstruction Project (SPHF) will finance this program, including the reconstruction of approximately 2.1 million houses and technical assistance to inform the design and implementation of the overall reconstruction program in 28 Districts of Sindh.

The objective of this project is that the housing reconstruction is beneficiary driven. The PKR 300,000/- grants were released directly to the beneficiary’s bank accounts linked to verified stages of construction. Efforts will be made to facilitate eligible beneficiaries to open bank accounts through simplified processing requirements. The system is completely transparent and deployed on a Management Information System (MIS) and being monitored on GIS.

The allocation to HANDS is a total number of 357,000 damaged Houses for assessment and construction. These houses were selected from 7 districts of Sindh including Ghotki, Hyderabad, Umerkot, Karachi Malir, Sukkur, Thatta and Kashmore. HANDS has achieved so far nearly 100% validation of these houses. Nearly 33000 houses are in process of construction till December 2023.

HANDS with the support of SPHF is focusing on equal opportunities for men, women, and transgender for the provision of services. The statistics show that HANDS is covering populations with the provision of shelter to 252,910 (70.7%) men, and 104,814 (29.3%) women and 5 transgender households across 07 districts of Sindh. HANDS with the Support of SPHF is bringing women on a higher note in terms of providing them with the houses, having their own bank account numbers. The provision of land status to women is the charm of this project. They were taken through the Government of Sindh. HANDS with the Support of SPHF provides the land title ship to the women households residing on Government land. This provision will subsequently increase women’s empowerment across Sindh.

HANDS with the Support of SPHF provided houses to 104,813 women beneficiaries with funds transferred in their bank accounts. This provision to the women beneficiaries has brought a wave of empowerment to access the banks and receive the amount of their own.