Sawa, together in Arabic, KIEDF's and Israel's first non-bank micro credit loan fund. Developed in 2006, SAWA started operating among Bedouin women in the Negev, using the group solidarity model developed by Nobel Prize winner Professor Muhammad Yunus from Bangladesh. After overwhelming success in the south, the program expanded throughout the country and currently provides services to diverse populations working to move out of poverty. KIEDF provides access to credit combined with business and technical services to low income, marginalized populations. We enable these populations to improve their economic situation, through tools, skills and services.
The current economic structure in Israel severely limits opportunities for low income women to improve their economic situation through gainful employment. For many thousands, an independent income generating activity, a microenterprise, is the only way for them and their dependents to escape the poverty cycle. In order to create a microenterprise and continue to strengthen their economic situation, marginalized populations need access to microfinance services, credit, business and technical services, financial literacy and savings products.
At the close of 2010, KIEDF became the Kiva Field Partner in Israel. This partnership enables raising funds needed for non-bank loans while connecting KIEDF with a network of MFI’s throughout the world.
Since 2011, the Israeli government is providing full matching for services to Arab Israeli women. This partnership has initiated significant expansion of the program enabling thousands of Arab Israeli women the ability to develop a microenterprise, increase their income and ensure a better future for themselves and their families.
To date over 10,000 loans have been distributed enabling thousands of households to improve their economic situation.