HANDS Pakistan has been committed to helping underprivileged communities progress. The IDEAS (Infrastructure Development, Alternate Energy and Shelter Department) initiative has helped villages, such as those that Saleh Khan belongs to by providing shelters, infrastructure development, and provision of energy through alternate sources.
The earthquake in 2015 shook up the lives of my people in Dande Sundiya. One moment we were all fine, and the next there were 20-25 people who had died, while hundreds were left without a roof over their head. I am Saleh Khan from Dande Sundiya, District Shangla from KPK, where the earthquake left devastation in its wake.
HANDS stepped in to help us by giving us materials for shelters because many of us had our homes were badly damaged. However, unlike most other organizations, HANDS did not just help us at that moment. Following their true spirit of work and values, they continued supporting us. They helped during the disaster with temporary shelters but also aided us to make better, more durable shelters that would accommodate us for a longer period.
But our village was not only in need of homes. Our livelihood and agriculture had been badly impacted, as had our roads infrastructure. The HANDS team helped us to rebuild the roads using a sustainable strategy called Cash for Work. Under this program, HANDS helped us financially, and at the same time, they hired our villagers to make the roads. This was a brilliant strategy that was not only limited to charity but also helped retain our sense of dignity. They gave us jobs that helped us uplift our village.
Because I was actively engaged in the work, I got to bond with my villages very closely, and my supporters urged me to represent them in the elections. I was elected as a Nazim, and during my tenure, I worked extensively on ensuring water and alternate power supply to homes.
HANDS has been a valuable partner in the development of Dande Sundiya. As a Nazim of the area, I am responsible for the well-being of my constituents, but HANDS has been a great source of support and inspiration.