Youth-Led Enabled Development (YLED) for Sustainable WASH in MENA

We are building the capacities of the youth in order to develop local WASH solutions, and create an enabling Environment for Development.

Photo of Kareem Hassan
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I confirm that I am fully aware of the eligibility criteria, and based on its description, I am eligible to apply to the CSV Prize 2017.

  • Yes, I'm eligible

Preferred language

  • English

Organization name

BENAA Foundation

Year founded


Initiative stage

  • Established (the solution has passed the previous stages and demonstrated success)

Annual budget in 2017 (USD)

  • $10k - $50k

Number of beneficiaries impacted so far

  • 10,000 - 50,000

Organization type

  • Nonprofit, NGO, or citizen sector

Secondary Focus Area

  • Water
  • Rural development

Headquarters location: Country

  • Egypt

Headquarters location: City


Location(s) of impact

Cairo Giza Sharqia Fayoum South Sainai

Website and

Facebook URL

Problem: What problem is this initiative trying to address?

Proper WASH facilities are missed in the majority of rural areas and some of urban areas in Egypt. Due to the lack of local capacities. There is no one open source library in the field of Sustainable Sanitation and Water Management in the Arab world, and no proper educational programs for the youth to solve the local WASH problems. Additionally, the available solutions for rural areas aren't sustainable, don't include the community, suffer the lack of proper operation and management, and assigned responsibilities.

Solution Summary: What is the proposed solution? What do you see as its most promising aspects for creating shared value?

BENAA’s WASH interventions in rural and semi-urban settings aim to improve the water, sanitation and hygiene services for the poor; by utilizing the youth power. Our Solution is an integrated loop in the field of Sustainable Sanitation and Water Management (SSWM), which has three pillars: 1) Knowledge Production: translating and simplifying the SSWM knowledge, we are building the first Arabic library in the field of WASH; 2) Capacity Building: transfer the applied SSWM knowledge to the youth in Egypt to lead the develop local, sustainable and up to scale WASH solutions; 3) Community-led Implementation: the trained youth are developing local solutions with rural communities, these solutions have long lasting impact and higher possibility to scale up. The youth-led enabling environment is based on and foster: public awareness, institutional arrangements, socio-cultural acceptance, socio-economic development, financial arrangements, and proper monitoring and evaluation.

Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Specify both the social and the environmental impact of your work

Since our start on the 1st of September 2015 we had achieved the following: - Translated and simplified more than 1500 page in the field of WASH into Arabic and disseminated them widely among the social media. (Link to one of the translated books: the Compendium of Sanitation Systems and Technologies: - Produced the first toolbox of its kind in Arabic for SSWM in Humaniterian Crises: - Our produced knowledge has reached 200,000 Arab users on the internet, and had been downloaded more than 10,000 times. (link of one of the shared documents: - Initiated 5 massive awareness campaigns. (examples: , - Build the Capacities of 3,000 Egyptian Youth in the field of WASH. - Initiated 9 successful Social Projects in the field of sustainability. - We are enhancing the living conditions of 10,000 people in 5 Egyptian villages.

Financial sustainability plan: How is this initiative financially supported? How will you ensure its financial sustainability long-term?

1. Donations: ~5K$ 2- Grants: ~20K$ 3- Corporate contributions: ~10K$ 4- Earned income: ~15K$

Unique value proposition: What makes your initiative innovative? How does your project differ from other organizations working in the same field?

We are very different because we close the whole loop of change in the field of WASH. We are producing the applied and essential knowledge in the field of SSWM, then build the youth capacities on them, then implement knowledge based projects. We are the only organization that is doing this loop in the MENA region. That gives us the power of: knowledge that is lacked in our region; youth who are very creative and having the energy to innovate solutions; and communities who are willing to change.

Founding story: Share a story about the "Aha!" moment that sparked the beginning of this initiative.

I spent 10 years on research and gathering knowledge in the field of sustainable development, traveled to more than 20 countries to gather ideas and inspirations, and interviewed more than 500 experts in the field of WASH and sustainable development to build up my mind about the most appropriate solution that will solve the problems of my community. My Aha moment was 2 years ago when I was in a rural village in Egypt and saw a lady crying because here kid died in the open drain in the village because of the lack of proper sanitation facility in the village. I was burning from inside, then I decided to stop my endless research activity, and start actions on the ground. I started to motivate the youth like fire in the wood, to work hard and fast to create solutions in order to save millions of lives. And now we are doing so, and will continue doing till the end of our lives.

Where did you hear about the Nestlé Creating Shared Value Prize?

  • Social media


Join the conversation:

Photo of Sharla Halvorson

Great work Kareem and the Benaa team.  This is truly admirable work with a clear beneficial impact on human health and sanitation.    The work you are doing is important and clearly improving the living conditions of thousands of Egyptians.  At the moment the work seems to be based on philanthropic donations, do you see a way to scale it up while also being able to make it financially self-sustaining? 

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