24 April 2018
When Ishtiaq saw a need in his community, he approached his local Salvation Army corps (church) for support.
“There was no driver in this community before,” he says of his small rural village of Padri, located on the outskirts of the city of Lahore. “Previously, whenever our community faced an emergency or serious health concern, it was difficult for us to transport people.”
As a member of a Salvation Army-led community development committee, Ishtiaq and three others asked their local corps to provide them with driving lessons.
“We asked the corps officers for what we felt we needed for our community,” he says. “Now that we have received driving training, we have more freedom and opportunity.”
Ishtiaq was a gardener before attending driving training. His wage barely supported his family. He struggled to afford enough food and could not send his children to school.
Now, as a driver, Ishtiaq has improved his ability to earn an income and is more engaged with his community.
“My cousin bought a minibus and I use it to transport people and goods,” he says. “Whenever someone needs to go to the hospital, I can take them there.
“This is a skill I have learned. I am gaining income and I can feed and educate my children. The increased income means we can buy better food and we have better health.”
Ishtiaq was also part of a group that petitioned for improvements to infrastructure in the community.
“With the support of The Salvation Army, we approached some political leaders,” he says. “We pushed the government to fix the roads and improve the sewage system.”
Ishtiaq is grateful to the people who make the work of The Salvation Army possible.
“Without your support, we would have no one to help us achieve our goals,” he says. “With The Salvation Army, we have a platform to raise our concerns and ideas to make a better future.”