Thank you!

Thank you!

We recently sent out the following message thanking our donors. If you have not yet contributed, or if you wish to continue your commitment to the people of Swat, please consider making a donation.

Dear Friends,

Before I give you the update on SRI, I would like to take this opportunity to thank all our supporters and volunteers for their tremendous effort in helping us improve the lives of women and children in Swat. All this could not be possible without your contributions and volunteerism.

Our Preventive Health Program for 8 villages has improved tremendously in the past year, thanks to the effort and dedication of the HDF team and our staff in Swat. Following is a list of achieved targets for the 4th quarter in 2011.

Planned activities in 4th Quarter 2011 Target achieved

  • Monthly Household visits by Lady Health Workers 100%
  • Antenatal checkups 100%
  • Postnatal checkups 100%
  • Growth monitoring of children under five years of age 100%
  • Fully Immunized Children for EPI vaccinations 74%
  • Mother Child Health Awareness Workshops 100%
  • Fully Immunized Women of Reproductive Age for TT Vaccinations 72%
  • Deliveries handled by Skilled Birth Attendants 84%
  • Health Seminars 100%
  • Monitoring Visits of Field Unit Incharge 100%
  • Monitoring Visits of Lady Health Visitors 100%

Last year we were able to increase the salaries of our Lady Health Workers and Lady Health Visitors because of a generous grant from Abbott Labs. A special thanks to the dedicated people in Abbott Fund who made it all possible.

Our team completed an extensive Baseline Survey, which will be helpful in assessing our progress towards lowering infant mortality and improving the health of mothers and children in the area.

Swat Relief Initiative and HDF have now started a pilot program to mobilize and organize communities in the villages of Sarkari Cham, Katair, and Kashar Khail. Committees in these grassroots organization will bring improvement is four sectors in the villages: education, health, economic development, and the environment.

Education
In education we will revive parent teacher associations, have quality teacher training programs and a citizenship curriculum so that students who graduate will give back to their communities. We will also have a scholarship program to make children more competitive in education.

Health
In the health sector, we have started a Preventive Healthcare Program in these villages, which will reduce infant mortality and improve maternal health. Most children and mothers do not get regular care in these poorer communities, and many deaths were occurring due to micronutrient deficiencies, lack of immunization, and lack of proper child and maternal healthcare.

Economic Development
In the economic development sector, we have started a skills development center for widows who are destitute and have no means of supporting their children. This center will develop skills in embroidery and tailoring so these women can earn a living, in order to put food on the table for their children and will also give the children an opportunity to go to school.

Environment
For sustainable environment solutions we are encouraging tree planting and ways to preserve existing trees. Solutions will be found, with the help of village organization committees, to dispose of solid waste and have clean drinking water.

Another program we started was a commitment to build schools in 5 remote villages where the Gojar community lives. These people live at an elevation of about 11,000 ft and have no schools or roads. We had to get a bulldozer to make a road with the help of the community to get there. The Gojars are the poorest and most underprivileged community in Swat and have only lived as slaves and menial labors in the society. When we went to help this downtrodden community, their only wish was for us to build schools for their children so they could get out of the rut of being slave laborers and have a chance for a better life. Because of the remoteness of these areas, no governmental or non-governmental organizations work here, so we are their only hope.

I would like to remind you that in order to continue our effort, we are in constant need of funds. Your support is always appreciated and donations can be made conveniently by clicking here.

Best regards,

Zebu

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