Zawadisha arms women with access to capital and the life-saving tools they need to lift themselves out of poverty. Our model is building a stronger world, one in which women are self-sufficient, successful, and stand on their own two feet.

Zawadisha means “to give a gift” and we believe the greatest gift we can give women is a hand up in fighting poverty. The gift they give us in return is that we know we truly have changed the life of another human being. And that exchange is powerful.

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Women make up 70% of the world’s poor, but are often excluded from the formal job market and banking system. We give loans to the women who banks don’t, placing women first and profit second. With a 40% unemployment rate in Kenya, we aim to put women to work.

Help us make a difference in the lives of women.


Are you a change maker? Do you want to connect deeply with our work and women? Then consider donating your time to Zawadisha. Our volunteer opportunities provide meaningful experiences to highly-motivated, compassionate individuals who want to join us in designing and delivering an empowering micro-lending model. Work with us in either the US or Kenya in the areas of program implementation and evaluation, leadership development, fundraising, and outreach. We also have internship positions available. Please contact us to learn more.


When you donate to Zawadisha, you are making an investment in the lives of women and their families. You are empowering mothers, sisters, wives, and daughters to take a greater role in their family and society. You are entrusting them to provide for their families. You are expanding their opportunities. And you are joining a collective of individuals around the world who want to do more than alleviate poverty—they want to end it. Donate today or contact us to create your own fundraiser to transform milestones in your life into experiences that change lives.


Join us for a truly life-changing experience in Kenya. Our two-week trips connect you to our members, immersing you in our work and the Kenyan culture. Understand the vast potential in a place where people are making the impossible possible. Work one-on-one with women and children, explore the Maasai Mara, and forge lasting connections. Ultimately you will gain a new lease on life, inspiring you to make change locally. This is more than a vacation—it’s an opportunity to make an impact in the lives of others and to see the world through a new lens.

Invest in human capital. The return will amaze you.


Kenya Opportunity & Empowerment Director

Cindy first began as a member in 2011, receiving a $60 loan from Zawadisha. Through her determination and savoir-faire, she advanced, and now manages nearly every aspect of Zawadisha in Kenya. Working on the ground with our members, she facilitates trainings, visits our members at work, and supports them in maintaining a 98% repayment rate. She says she works for us because “It’s amazing to identify myself with an organization that gives voice to the voiceless, helps women grow knowing that achievement has no limit.”


Tuinuane Liaison

Winnie has been with Zawadisha since day one. Bringing together a dynamic group of women to form our first lending circle, Tuinuane, she helped us co-create our model and vision of changing women’s lives through dignity, not dependence. She strives to help promote self-sufficiency and equalize the unbalanced power dynamic that stems from men having control of most resources. She loves to create and build connections, strength, and empowerment. A brilliant and non-assuming leader of the group, she conveys incredible humanity and openness.


Member Extraordinaire

Benta is changing the way we view women in poverty. She is full of zest and has an unmatched passion for life, although she hates doing laundry. She speaks four languages, and feels that this is a key to her success in business; she is determined to speak well and get to know her customers better. Benta has used her loans to purchase large quantities of fish and dried foods to sell at the market. She is a gritty and savvy business woman, driven by the desire to provide for children and educate them so they have a positive future.