Thank you for your interest in Zawadisha, a local nonprofit with global reach!

When rural Kenyan women living in poverty have access to clean energy and water, they see a dramatic increase in the quality of their lives. Money historically spent on kerosene is funneled into school fees for children. The six hours spent walking to a river for water or into the forest for fuel wood is instead allocated toward income-generating activities. Women’s status in the home is elevated as they are the ones responsible for the dramatic changes that benefit the entire family. But because of poor distribution and high costs, simple household items like rainwater tanks, clean cook stoves, and solar lamps are out of reach to thousands of women whose lives depend upon them. Until now.

Zawadisha is a US non-profit whose mission is to provide small loans for items with big impact to help rural women finance their livelihoods. We remove the barriers for rural Kenyan women to own life-changing items like solar lamps and water tanks by eliminating up-front costs through a transparent, simple pay-as-you-go credit plan. We deliver the items they request to their villages, train them on how to properly care for them, handle all after-sale issues, and co-create customized financial literacy and business development training that helps them maximize the impact of these products.

Zawadisha was founded in the Reno/Tahoe area three years ago and to date we have provided more than $125,000 in loans to more than 1,000 Kenyan women who are members of 52 women’s savings and self-help groups with an average 95% repayment rate.

This is what you can make happen with a grant of $1,000 to $10,000.

As of 2016, our current funding priorities are:

1. With $1,000 we can provide 50 loans for solar lamps, replacing toxic and expensive kerosene lamps. Children will have more light to study by and women will have more productive time in the evening.

2. With $5,000 we can provide 75 loans for rain water tanks so that women and their children will have access to clean water. Women and girls will save up to 6 hours per day of walking to the well for water, and the overall health of the family will increase.

3. With $10,000 we can provide loans for clean energy and water to 250 women PLUS help fund our Training of the Trainers program. Our Training of the Trainers program will arm local female leaders with the knowledge and skills to educate a minimum of 1,000 rural women per month on 1) The benefits of clean energy and water, 2) How to use their sparse income wisely to invest in items that increase the health of their families and reduce expenses, and 3) How to generate income from these very same items. The Trainers will be trained on the nuts and bolts of these three topics, as well as how to best teach these topics to other women. From start to finish, the training will be designed and implemented by Kenyan women, for Kenyan women to achieve maximum impact.

Call Jennifer Gurecki at 530-416-5682 or e-mail at to talk with her about these exciting grant opportunities.

To make a grant from your Community Foundation Donor Advised Fund, call Tracy Turner at 775-333-5499 or go to