Poor distribution and high costs make simple household items like rainwater tanks, clean cook stoves, and solar lamps out of reach to women whose lives depend upon them.

Zawadisha is changing this.

When rural Kenyan women living in poverty have access to renewable energy and water, they see a dramatic increase in the quality of their lives. Money is spent on school fees for children instead of on kerosene lamps. Women can use the six hours they would have spent walking to a river for water or into the forest for fuel wood on 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.

We have tailored our approach to meet the challenges and needs of these particularly rural communities. By combining increased access to sustainable products with trainings on how to maximize their use, our loan recipients have the tools they need to drastically improve their own lives, their family's lives, and their communities.

Donate $100 or more and we'll send you a basket woven by one of our members!
  • Women, as the primary caregivers in the home, are the ones responsible for collecting water, finding fuel wood, cooking on sub-par stoves, and working by toxic kerosene and paraffin lamps. These lamps are dim and expensive, create poor indoor air quality, and cause fires. Without electricity, household tasks are more laborious and much less efficient. Furthermore, women may spend up to 20 hours per week collecting water; this represents two full months of lost labor potential.

  • As a result, women are chronically time-poor. They are forced to make difficult decisions around seeking healthcare, earning an income, or attending to their children’s and their own education. Despite the innovations in clean energy and water, the cost is prohibitive for many rural families, making solar lamps, rain water tanks, and clean cook stoves out of reach.

  • Traditional micro-finance institutions are not equipped to deal with these issues or this population. They struggle in rural areas because of minimal community engagement, low trust, and high fees. Therefore, communities continue to be left out and marginalized. That's where we come in.


Zawadisha's model is designed to address rural-specific issues like low levels of community engagement and trust by providing in-house credit, direct delivery to villages, after-sales service, and training.

Women choose household items like solar lamps, clean cookstove, or rain water tank that they cannot afford on their own. We provide the financing and deliver the items directly to them.

Over the course of six to twelve months, women make small payments and can apply for another loan once they have repaid.

Our local Peer Educators follow up with trainings on entrepreneurship, agriculture, leadership, and financial literacy.

By working with women's groups, we increase accountability for repayments, and these women are supported and encouraged to finish paying their loan by their peers. 

Women no longer have to walk for hours to fetch water or lose productive time at night. Children stay in school because their school fees are paid and women gain respect in their homes and communities for spurring the increase in living standards.

Our model works in rural communities because it was designed specifically for them and it is run by them. Thesse women are agents for change, not charity.

Sign up to our newsletter

Get behind the scenes with Zawadisha + the first look at new products.