In late 2014, During a routine visit to The CDRS Mother and Child Health Center in Swat by Todd Shea and Saima Jafri of CDRS, Saima noticed the beautifully embroidered shawls made by the local women. She then came up with the idea that CDRS could assist the women and at the same time help raise funds for CDRS Humanitarian projects. Saima suggested that CDRS could making the shawls available to CDRS donors so the ladies would be able to earn more money and provide a better life for their families. It was decided to immediately start The CDRS Women’s Empowerment Project. This project has branches in Swat, Karachi and in Sher Ghar Village, Sargodha. CDRS Ambassador for Women’s Empowerment Sarish Khan, a brilliant lawyer and actress who is also Granddaughter of the legendary Sabiha Khanum, visited the wonderful and talented ladies of Sher Ghar with Todd and Saima and has been hosting events to raise funds for CDRS and promoting this project in her interviews and media appearances.

The main benefit of this project is the improvement in the confidence and quality of life of poor and deserving ladies who live in areas where economic opportunity is rare, especially for women. After receiving training from masters, the ladies have gained skills which give them the ability to provide a better life for their families. We brought our first batch of SIMI J shawls to the 2015 APPNA Summer meeting in Orlando. APPNA generously donated a booth for CDRS to exhibit the shawls. $10,000 was generated. Since then, exhibitions were held in New York, Los Angeles, North Carolina and at APPNA 2016 and 2017 Summer Meetings and another $25,000 was generated for CDRS projects. In 2018, Saima will be bringing handmade Chikankari dresses

CDRS hopes to grow the project so we can support more women in more places. CDRS promises to continually strive to assist as many women as possible to gain better access to national and international markets, however, our good works can expand and grow only with the support of our generous donors who play a vital role in enabling CDRS to do more to improve the quality of life in needy areas throughout Pakistan.


In partnership with Free Kissan Free Pakistan, CDRS has provided 112 Cows (all with calves) to poor widows living in rural villages, which has dramatically changed their lives for the better. The cows provide milk which can be used by the family and sold locally, and the cows can have a calf every year, which can then be sold to provide income for widows to take care of their children and send their children to school.