Our Approach

Children living in poverty have a wide range of needs. We partner with organizations that work with their community to assess problems and develop solutions. We provide funding for holistic approaches that deliver measurable outcomes for vulnerable children in the areas of health, education, resilience, and livelihoods.


Child Centered. Family Focused. Community Based

Firelight’s development approach is child-centered, family-focused, and community-based. This approach recognizes that child development and well-being are shaped by quality of engagement among the child, the family, the community, civil society, government, and global systems. We also understand that local context, social norms and culture, economic conditions, as well as government policies affect the life of the child. We approach our investment in community action to stop poverty based on research and experience showing that: 

1)    Children grow best in families.

2)    Communities are the safety net of support for poor and vulnerable children and families.

3)    Local organizations are best placed to strengthen the safety net of support and facilitate access to services. However, limited amounts of resources reach these organizations.

4)    An organized civil society has the power to shape the social policy environment and to advocate for increased health, education, and social protection services from the government.

5)    Interventions to support vulnerable children and families are most effective when they include government provision of services.

Based on our understanding of family as the most intimate and important circle of care for children, and the critical support that formal and informal community groups provide to families, Firelight has chosen to direct in its investments to local organizations in order to have the greatest possible impact on the well-being of children.

Identify Promising Organizations

The core of Firelight’s work is about supporting communities to mobilize local action and resources to transform the lives of marginalized children and their families.

Firelight identifies potential grantees through open calls for proposals and by tapping local networks in Africa. Through our due diligence process, Firelight selects organizations that have honesty and integrity, deep community roots, respect for children’s rights, a clear vision and sound strategy, and a track record for achieving results by working in partnership with the communities they serve.

We assess proposals for clear problem statements, innovative ideas, and a solid focus on programmatic quality. We have also learned that we must seek out organizations that demonstrate effective leadership, an entrepreneurial spirit, and creativity.


Firelight partners with organizations focused on creating conditions in which children, youth, and families who are at risk, living with or affected by HIV can thrive. Firelight funds organizations that improve basic health, prevent vertical transmission of HIV, and increase access to treatment for children, and youth living with HIV.


Firelight supports organizations that focus on children’s access to quality, age-appropriate learning opportunities, and mobilize families and communities to support children's education. Firelight prioritizes organizations that improve access to quality early childhood education, improve primary school learning outcomes, or expand girls’ access to secondary education.


Firelight’s objective is for vulnerable children to receive the care they need to be safe, emotionally healthy, and resilient. Firelight funds organizations that improve children’s safety, support their emotional health, and promote children’s rights.


Firelight partners with organizations that support families to develop and use their income and assets to meet the education, health, nutrition, and basic material needs of their children. Firelight funds organizations that improve farming skills of smallholder farmers, enhance income and assets of families, and improve quality and success of vocational training for youth.

Complete our eligibility survey to find out if you qualify for a grant.