Firelight supports catalytic community-based organizations that are working with their own communities to build smart, sustainable, and potentially scalable solutions to the challenges faced by children and youth in eastern and southern Africa.


What is Firelight?

Firelight is a multi-donor public charity fund that raises money from foundations, individuals and institutions to support community-based organizations (CBOs) in eastern and southern Africa.

Change lasts when it comes from within.

Firelight believes in the power and right of African communities to create lasting change for their own children and youth. Firelight believes that lasting change will come when communities create safe, strong and nurturing environments where children and youth thrive and are able to realize their extraordinary potential.

The best answers are already in the community.

We believe that lasting systemic change for children’s rights and development needs to value and involve community and indigenous institutions such as community-based organizations. Along with global best practices, they must be valued in the role they play in lasting systems shifts for children.

The best support comes from those you know.

Firelight believes that today, community-based organizations and servant community leaders are the greatest unrealized and unsupported assets in helping communities to create those safe, strong and nurturing environments, thereby changing the long-term trajectory of children and youth in Africa.

We support the change agents.

Firelight believes that, due to their grounding in and understanding of their own communities, community-based organizations (CBOs) are uniquely positioned to work with the key actors in a child’s life: family, community, local institutions, and government agencies.

Change agents = resilient organizations + resilient communities.

Firelight invests in community-based organizations in Africa so that they can work with their own communities to build and realize their visions of sustainable change and true potential for children, youth and community.

We support local organizations with what they need, in the way they need it.

Headquartered in the San Francisco Bay Area, Firelight’s core program team is based in southern and eastern Africa and is supported by a global Board of Directors and Advisory Council. Through flexible, long-term funding, Firelight supports community-based organizations (CBOs) with technical, organizational, and programmatic capacity building.

We build and share the evidence that it works.

Firelight also gathers evidence, leverages networks, and seeks to influence a global practice of valuing and funding local solutions.


by the numbers


20 years
serving communities

33 million+
dollars raised

grants made

organizations supported


countries of operation


of children impacted