Communities: Layered and Ever Closer

Bringing grantee partners to the Firelight office is something we do as we can; it deepens our mutual sense of community. When Rafiki Callixte from Les Enfants de Dieu in Rwanda visited us in November 2010, we knew we would learn a lot. Firelight has supported Les Enfants de Dieu since 2004 and we’ve been impressed to see how they help boys who had been living on the streets grow into engaged and thoughtful leaders within their program. Children in classroom

What we also found is that Rafiki’s bold and eloquent story also deepened our relationships within our local community. Tara Leonard from the Santa Cruz Sentinel came to cover our story and Jesse Clark from the Cinematic Syndicate came to create video of the event. One hundred twenty people attended the open house to hear Rafiki speak.

The sense of inspiration hearing Rafiki and the story of Les Enfants de Dieu remained alive in our office for some time. As we returned to our desks the following days, what came next was a vivid, engaging video and a thoughtful article. These two pieces, and the very positive response they’ve generated, have shown us how much our community here responds to our community abroad and to our work here at Firelight. It’s a pleasure to see this connection between the Santa Cruz community that is our home and the communities in Africa that we serve.

This has also caused us to consider the ways we could connect our communities more. We’ll continue to share stories about our work and our grantee partners and look forward to an exchange of thoughts and ideas in this blog and in our events. We invite our local and virtual communities to engage with us in our work. Using the power and impact of networks like ours, we’ll continue to support African communities changing children’s lives and contributing to a brighter future.