How We Identify Great Leaders: Moses Zulu, Luapula Foundation
They had already gotten started with a few donations from the community, family members and their personal savings, operating that first year with three volunteers and a budget of $2,850. That personal investment and belief in what was possible, even in the face of limited resources, showed us they were dedicated to their goal of improving children's lives. Over the next six years, we would help them strengthen their programs, realize their vision and build their relationships within Zambia and internationally.
Firelight's first grant helped Luapula to expand their school support program for vulnerable children. When Luapula works with a student, they pay school fees while also providing personal support to help children prepare for the future, including teaching them about HIV. They also work with the child's whole family looking for opportunities to improve food security and steady income.
Luapula used Firelight funds to launch their conservation farming program, which teaches families new skills and reduces the use of chemical fertilizers. The program improved food quality and quantity while also providing a path for change. That approach, of responding to the needs of the whole child while helping families to provide for their children, is what sets Luapula and other Firelight grantee-partners apart.
When Luapula Foundation graduated from Firelight funding in 2008, they had grown to a staff of 23 and a budget of $800,000 with support from multiple donors. They have continued to provide the same enduring support, but now reach many more families. They have created a legacy of change for children who are planning for their future and will have the education, skills and support to achieve it. Today, they have made a difference in the lives of more than 15,000 children.