Swat refugees desperately need your help!  

Dear Friends,

My name is Zebu Jilani and I am the granddaughter of the last Wali (ruler) of Swat. As you must all have heard, the people of Swat are embroiled in a life-and-death struggle with the Taliban. There is such a total breakdown of law and order that even the Wali’s personal residence, which is the house I grew up in, has been occupied by the Taliban. 70% of the population has been displaced, and the people who remain in the valley are being mercilessly killed by the Taliban for minor infractions of their backward vision of Islamic law, and are also caught in the crossfire between the Taliban and the Pakistan army. Their situation is dire and we need to act immediately to alleviate their suffering.

I will be going to Pakistan on the 25th of May to personally help the refugees. Because of my family’s status, we have access to local people who are very talented and well educated, and I intend to mobilize them in the refugee camps. Among the refugees are at least 30 nurse practitioners who worked under my grandfather whom we could employ to give free healthcare to the people in the camps. Also among them are teachers and nurses who could be recruited to work in the camps. By providing employment and services, we could start making the camps self-sufficient instead of leaving the refugees solely dependent upon handouts.

Because of the urgency of this situation and the approaching summer heat, your support will be much appreciated because it will be particularly effective at this time. 100% of your donation will go directly towards preventing disease, death, and dependency in the refugee camps. If you check back in the near future, you will be updated on the progress of our work.

Best regards,

Zebu Jilani


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.


Zebu and Arshad Jilani