By Hazeen Latif
Sahib Gul may be disabled, but his talent for art and music speaks for itself and he is a person who never gives up. “My name is Sahib Gul, which means king of the roses,” he told a meeting of the newly established ‘New Dawn Community Services’, a community-based organization (CBO) in a village in Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. “I love to sing, it’s my passion,” he said, as he began to demonstrate his great voice and amazing ability to “beatbox”.
Sahib Gul is just one of the many community members that has benefited from HCR’s ‘New Dawn’ project, which inspired the local community to register a CBO to help us bring health and development to the village. “I may be crippled and disabled,” Sahib Gul told me, “but I want to help my community.”
We have been working in KPK Province since 2014 on a number of projects including micro-enterprise development, a mobile health clinic, radio programming and most recently a new well for clean drinking water. The well has been so successful that many have stopped going to the local health worker with stomach complaints. Zahid, who has a clinic nearby, showed me the incoming patients register saying, “Now, fewer patients are coming with gastrointestinal problems.” Sahib Gul has also been feeling much better after using the new bore water.
It’s a privilege to be working in this area, with people who really want to make a difference and take responsibility for their own change. To me, they are local heroes. As I met recently with the community for the second monthly meeting to form the CBO, we began to lay plans for next year, to do more to help in the area of health, education and we will be developing FM radio programmes to be a voice for the voiceless.