Impact Areas

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 education and resilience. Our current programs include:

Quality early childhood development – Malawi, Tanzania, and Zambia

We are working to support local community based organizations to develop and implement programs and services for children and families, which support early childhood development. With the support of the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, our goal is to increase the percentage of young children affected by HIV and AIDS who achieve age-appropriate milestones in the physical, social, emotional, and cognitive domains. To do this, we are partnering with community-based organizations (CBOs), which are rooted in communities across Africa and reach young children and families in large numbers.  Read more about this initiative here.


Innovations in early learning – Tanzania

We work to encourage, strengthen, and replicate/scale innovations in early learning among CBOs in Tanzania to improve children’s school readiness, literacy, and numeracy outcomes. Each grassroots partner takes a holistic and innovative approach to increase community involvement in children’s early learning. Supported by The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the overarching goal of our Grassroots Innovations in Early Learning Initiative is to improve reading, writing, and arithmetic levels for children in the early years of education.  Read more about this initiative here.


New designs for improvements in secondary education - Malawi

In Malawi, where there is tremendous need but also a tremendous opportunity to build on developments in the education system, we support local organizations on improving transition, persistence, and exam pass rates for students in secondary schools. In partnership with the MasterCard Foundation and Dubai Cares, Firelight supports community-based organizations to work with communities, students, teachers, local leaders, and government officials using a human-centered design method to develop innovative approaches.  Read more about this initiative here.


The fight against child marriage - Tanzania

We support organizations in the fight against child marriage, early pregnancy and child labor. Targeting young girls, their parents and their entire community, this program seeks to strengthen the capacity of local community organizations to mobilize their communities on child rights, develop strong child protection systems that link up to the district level, and strengthen their programming in social and emotional support of children and their families.  Read more about this initiative here.


Girls’ economic empowerment - Rwanda

In Rwanda, a country still impacted by the genocide and HIV, we work with community organizations to strengthen grassroots solutions that transform the lives of vulnerable girls. Through funding and capacity building in organizational management, girl-centered programming, and network strengthening, this program seeks to build up girls’ assets and improve girls’ access to support and services. The ultimate change will be evidenced in the lives of girls and their power over themselves, their assets, and their environment. This program also involves Firelight building the capacity of a local community grantmaker who in turn supports a cohort of five small community-based organizations.  Read more about this initiative here.


Protecting vulnerable children- Lesotho

Lesotho, a landlocked country in southern Africa, has the second highest prevalence of HIV and AIDS in the world, with over 20% of the population infected by the virus. Due to the tragic impact of the crisis, thousands of children have been orphaned and left vulnerable to HIV and AIDS, child abuse, malnutrition, and poverty. In response to these challenges, Firelight established an eight-year partnership with a community grantmaker and six community-based organizations (CBOs) to respond to the multifaceted needs of vulnerable children in their communities.  Read more about this initiative here.