Strengthening a partnership established in May 2012, Al Asmakh Charity Foundation has agreed to continue support for microenterprise and youth training solutions launched by Silatech.
The two organizations signed a Memorandum of Understanding recently in which Afif, a non-profit Qatari development program launched by Al Asmakh Charity Foundation, will build on its initial investment of $150,000 in Silatech’s Kiva Arab Youth initiative by committing another $150,000 to the fund. Kiva Arab Youth is a partnership between Silatech and Kiva, in which visitors to www.kiva.org/arabyouth can lend as little as $25 to the young Arab entrepreneur of their choice. The funds invested by Afif through a shariah compliant mechanism operational in Palestine and Yemen are used to match online loans from individuals, maximizing impact. Since its inception in March 2012, Kiva Arab Youth has raised close to $2.5M from more than 55,000 individuals, financing over 2,000 youth-run businesses in the Arab world.
Silatech’s Kiva Arab Youth initiative has proven to be an effective, sustainable and worthwhile program for young entrepreneurs.
Ibrahim Al Asmakh, Chairman of Al Asmakh Charity
Beyond support to Kiva Arab Youth, Silatech and Afif have further agreed to work together to support programs in Egypt and Yemen which support youth enterprise through shariah compliant investment mechanisms.
Building on the proven success of the Kiva Arab Youth, Silatech and Afif see a clear opportunity for the creation of a broader online platform that connects charities, lenders and donors (in Arab countries and globally), including Islamic charitable giving to young men and women from disadvantaged backgrounds to support their economic and social needs.
Over the coming months, both partners will be carrying out research into the feasibility of such a broader solution.
According to Mr. Ibrahim Al Asmakh, Chairman of Al Asmakh Charity, “Our aim at Afif is to contribute toward the economic and intellectual transformation of Arab and Islamic societies, and Silatech’s Kiva Arab Youth initiative has proven to be an effective, sustainable and worthwhile program for young entrepreneurs. We look forward to exploring these additional areas of partnership with Silatech.”
Dr. Tarik M. Yousef, CEO of Silatech, highlighted the importance of sustainable social investment, asserting that “Kiva Arab Youth represents a new mode of charitable giving, one which values sustainability and return on investment. By renewing their support for the program, Al Asmakh Charity and Afif again demonstrate their commitment to youth in the region, as well as to innovative and effective social investment strategies.”