Using Green Building Techniques to Provide Affordable Housing and Community Centers in Egypt

Client: Hand Over
Firm: Shalakany Law Firm (Egypt)
Sector: Environment and Community Development
Legal Area: Contracts, Finance and Banking


Hand Over is an award-winning social enterprise that utilizes sustainable construction methods to promote community development in Egypt. Hand Over tackles climate change by using local earthen materials as building components while striving to empower underprivileged communities through environmentally-friendly techniques. Hand Over also empowers and trains architecture and civil engineering students and connects them with their local communities so they can work jointly on the design and implementation of new buildings.

At the same time, Hand Over collaborates with local NGOs and private-sector companies to facilitate the process. Adapting the “Human Centered Design” approach in all the stages of its projects allows Hand Over to meet its goal of putting the needs of the people it serves front and center in order to design new solutions that are tailor made to suit their needs.

Inspired by the sustainable building techniques she learned in various positions, Radwa Rostom founded Hand Over in 2016 and was soon selected as an Echoing Green Fellow. After she graduated with a degree in civil engineering from Ain Shams University, Radwa gained valuable experience in several positions ranging from project engineer in an environmental consulting firm to a corporate social responsibility specialist in a solar energy company. In these roles, she explored several fields such as energy efficiency, energy management systems, and green building.

In late 2016, Radwa reached out to the Lex Mundi Pro Bono Foundation through her contacts at Echoing Green seeking assistance for contract reviews with various partner organizations in Egypt. She later sought the Foundation’s assistance in navigating Egyptian banking regulations to be able to receive grant money from a U.S. entity. In both cases, the Foundation was able to connect Radwa with Lex Mundi’s member firm for Egypt, the Shalakany Law Office, in order to secure critical pro bono legal support for Hand Over’s innovative mission.

“Social entrepreneurs usually face several challenges when they launch their startups and when they start to operate—challenges that are not relevant to their backgrounds and technical skills so I was grateful to have the support of one of the top law firms in Egypt,” Radwa said of her work with Shalakany Law Firm. “I faced some difficulties in transferring my grant that I received form Echoing Green due to my lack of knowledge about the laws and banking procedures of transferring foreign grants. Shalakany Law firm were very supportive during the whole process, they were familiar with my situation and their advice was directly on point. The Lex Mundi Pro Bono Foundation team followed up closely until they knew that the case was resolved.”

Lex Mundi Wins Prestigious Catalyst Business Commitment Badge at the World Economic Forum

Lex Mundi has been awarded a Catalyst Business Commitment badge at this year’s World Economic Forum meeting in Davos, following the work of the Lex Mundi Pro Bono Foundation to support social enterprise.

News On Purpose

In This Issue:

  • Engaging Stakeholders: “Removing roadblocks between inspiration and impact”
  • Illuminating Futures: Addressing energy poverty with Solar Buddy
  • Public Health in a Time of War: Supporting SAFEMed in Ukraine
  • The Extreme Challenge of Modern Slavery: Hope for Justice/Slave-Free Alliance

Navigating Dobbs: Guidance for Companies

In light of the US Supreme Court’s recent decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization overturning the decisions in Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania v. Casey, Lex Mundi member firm Jenner & Block has issued an alert discussing risks and providing guidance on how companies can proactively respond to the changing legal landscape.

News On Purpose

In This Issue:

  • Connect, Collaborate & Celebrate (Annual Meeting Highlights)
  • Working to Address Gun Violence (Supporting Sandy Hook Promise)
  • Thought Leadership that is Making an Impact (Social Enterprise Report)
  • Coming Together for Ukraine (Crisis Resource Center)

Lex Mundi Pro Bono Foundation Honors Five Member Firms for Exceptional Pro Bono Contributions and Support

Awards Honor Lex Mundi Member Law Firms for Providing Critical Pro Bono Legal Services and Support to Social Impact Organizations

The 13th Annual Lex Mundi Pro Bono Foundation Awards were announced during the 2022 Lex Mundi Connect + Collaborate Annual Conference in Edinburgh on Thursday, April 28, 20022. These awards honor Lex Mundi member law firms that provide critical pro bono legal services – helping to strengthen the global rule of law, support the global social entrepreneurship movement, and improve lives, the environment, and communities around the world.

Coming Together for Ukraine: Legal Resources to Support those Responding to the Current Situation in Ukraine

Find guidance on immigration regulations and NGO/charitable organization registration requirements in bordering countries, as well as information on how to navigate restrictions. This is a living document. Additional resources will be added in the days and weeks ahead. Check back frequently for more information.