Integrative Rural Development Program started

Integrative Rural Development Program started

In July we announced our Integrative Rural Development Program (IRDP). We have identified Sarkari Cham village as the site of our pilot project, which is now underway! With the help of local activists, we have initiated a social development organization in the village which is now ready to elect officers and form committees to improve the economy, education, healthcare, and the environment. We are working with government entities to build a middle school for girls, who are currently unable to study beyond class 5. We are also planting trees to help combat deforestation, and were are looking for a rental property to use as a women’s center.

Letter from the Founders

Dear Friends,

We have always felt a debt of gratitude to the social institutions under which we grew up: Pakistan in the 60’s.  Today, unfortunately, those institutions are but a pale semblance of what they used to be. We were privileged but came from families that, despite their station in society, gave and taught us to give of ourselves to those who were less privileged.

This background, and our subsequent achievements in life, put us in a position to help the most needy people in Pakistan.  We are most effective in Swat:  This is in the region we are from, this is where we best know the people and this is where the people know us well.

We started Swat Relief Initiative at a time when the people of Swat went through the first major trauma of three major disasters: the 2008 Taliban takeover, the ensuing 2009 war and the 2010 mega-floods.

The most vulnerable segments of Swati society are the women and children – they are our focus.  We bring the men along too, for they are key to helping develop a milieu in which women and children can grow into fully contributing members of society.

We have a holistic approach to social growth with programs in Social Mobilization, Health, Education, Economic Development and Sustainable Environment. While working in these areas of social development we partner, when necessary, with individuals and organizations that can supplement our expertise and impact.

Of course, we cannot do any of this without the help of your continuing generous contributions, which we continue to pledge will go directly to where they are needed the most: programs and projects on the ground that provide the greatest opportunity for less fortunate women and children to thrive.

Thanks,

Zebu and Arshad Jilani