Arab World Social Innovators Program
Marwa El Daly, Egypt
Modernizing a traditional concept to better the community
Marwa is reviving and modernizing traditional philanthropic mechanisms such as the rooted tradition of waqf or civic endowments/donor-advised funds that were used for hundreds of centuries in the Arab and Islamic Worlds. Merging academic excellence with grass-roots development, she has managed to establish the first Waqfeyat Foundation which pioneered the use of a modernized waqf model as illustrated in the establishment of the first community foundation in Egypt, the Waqfeyat al Maadi Community Foundation (WMCF).
The WMCF focuses on mobilizing local resources by creating awareness about the role of local giving in development, not just charity. In doing so, WMCF invests in and counts on local donors, whether they be philanthropists, social entrepreneurs, or youth or school children, in its grant-making activities. Their philanthropies form grants and funds that support income-generating projects for the marginalized and less fortunate members of the community to enable them to stop the vicious circle of poverty and dependence. WMCF works with all members of the community to collectively find solutions, lobby for change and execute projects that bring them closer under principles of social justice and primarily focuses on art education in its interventions.
See video about Marwa on the occasion of her winning the inaugural African Philanthropy Award.
Read an article on how Marwa started and is growing the Waqfeyat al Maadi Community Foundation.