Sawiris Foundation for Social Development

The Sawiris Foundation for Social Development (SFSD) was established in 2001 with an endowment from the Sawiris Family, becoming one of the first national donor foundations in Egypt. The SFSD works to support marginalised Egyptians through programmes addressing poverty, unemployment, and limited access to healthcare and quality education. The foundation’s primary focus areas include economic empowerment, increasing access to quality education, social empowerment, and encouraging artistic and cultural creativity.

Related sustainable development goals

  • No Poverty
  • Zero Hunger
  • Good Health and Well-Being
  • Quality Education
  • Gender Equality
  • Clean Water and Sanitation
  • Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • Reduced Inequalities
  • Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • Life on Land
  • Partnerships for the Goals


US$420m+ in contributions and investments

Focus areas

Focus sectors

  • Agriculture
    • Food security
    • Farming
  • Development
    • Sustainable development
    • Economic development
      • Employment
        • Job training
        • Job retraining
        • Job creation and workforce developement
      • Rural development
    • Financial services
      • Development finance
        • Community development finance
  • Education
    • Early childhood education
    • Adult education
      • Adult Literacy
      • Continuing education
    • Education services
      • Co-operative education
      • College preparation
      • Out-of-school learning
    • Graduate and professional
  • Health
    • Healthcare access
    • Medical specialities
    • In-patient care
    • Reproductive health care
      • Maternal and perinatal health
    • Out-patient care
    • Diseases and conditions
  • Humanitarian
    • Special population support
    • Food aid
    • Family services
    • Youth development

Focus populations

  • Artists and performers
  • Farmers
  • Immigrants and migrants
  • Men and boys
  • Older adults
  • Refugees and displaced people
  • Seniors
  • Students
  • Unemployed people
  • Women and girls
  • Young adults

Focus geographies

  • North Africa
    • Egypt


  • Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-Pal)
  • Agence Française de Développement
  • AlexBank
  • Amideast
  • Commercial International Bank Foundation
  • drosos
  • Dubai Cares
  • Egyptian House
  • European Bank
  • Fondation Carrefour
  • Fondation D'Entreprise Air France
  • Fondation Lord Michelham of Hellingly
  • German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD)
  • Government of Kuwait
  • International Finance Corporation
  • Kingdom of the Netherlands
  • Majid Al Futtaim
  • Orange
  • Orascom
  • Professional Development Foundation (PDF)
  • Star Care
  • Swiss Academy for Development
  • Tawasol
  • UN Women
  • UNDP
  • Wietlisbach Foundation
  • World Bank
  • World Food Programme


  • Economic empowerment

    This pillar supports micro-enterprises, runs training and employment support services, and has an agricultural development programme.

  • Education and scholarships
    This includes scholarships, basic education, pre-primary education, technical and vocational education and executive education.
  • Sawiris Culture Award
    This is a competition recognising excellence among emerging and established novelists, screenwriters, playwrights, and literary critics.
  • Social empowerment

    This programme provides marginalised groups with access to healthcare, clean water, sanitation, and basic education, as well as support for homeless and at-risk children and care leavers.


Funding model

  • Foundation-administered programme awards
  • Grants to Individuals
  • Grants to organisations
  • In-kind gifts
    • Donated equipment
    • Donated land
    • Donated goods
  • Loans to Individuals
  • Programme related investment

Primary funders

  • Orascom
  • Sawiris family

Funding source

  • Private


Key staff

  • Noura Selim, executive director

Board members

  • Yousriya Sawiris, chair and founder
  • Nadia Makram
  • Nassef Sawiris
  • Osama Beshai
  • Taya Samih, secretary general
  • Onsi Sawiris
  • Ismail Serag Eldin
  • Hala Hashem
  • Mona Zulficar
  • Naguib Sawiris, vice-chair

Contact details



Meet Noura Selim: executive director of the Sawiris Foundation for Social Development, which works to empower Egypt's poorest communities, and support inclusive development. Read more

Samih Sawiris, co-founder of the Sawiris Foundation for Social Development shares insights from his experience of stewarding family philanthropy in Egypt. Read more

How the Sawiris Foundation for Social Development is helping to build pathways out of poverty for people living in Upper Egypt. Read more