A Community Lullaby for the Cradle Project

A big thank you to Julia Chiapella, Director of the Young Writers Program for this blog post.

Matching The Cradle Project with the Young Writers Program, in hindsight, was not only serendipitous but a pairing of efforts in support of young people: the one in Africa and the other here on the home turf.

Julia Chiapella writing on the Community Lullaby

Last Friday night the Museum of Art and History at 705 Front Street hosted the Poetry and Book Arts Festival. The [...]

The Artists Behind The Cradle Project

There are over 500 artists behind The Cradle Project. At each exhibit, we invite local artists to make a cradle, expanding the exhibit, and the community around it. The new cradles, ideas, and people who become a part of The Cradle Project become a part of the impact it makes.

The reality of HIV and poverty in Africa is less and less visible in the U.S. and the cradles bring it back into our minds in a way only art can, [...]

Financing Global Basic Education

What does it cost to deliver basic education in the developing world?

What’s the role of foundations and private investors in this?

These were the questions driving the most recent International Education Funders Group (IEFG) meeting. Firelight is a member of the steering committee of the IEFG, and tracks this question very closely, because of the importance of education for the life chances of the children we serve.

Students at Les Enfants De Dieu, a Firelight partner in Rwanda.

How to pay the [...]

Get Your “Blue Sweater” On This Friday

The Santa Cruz Community Foundation has invited us to lead their 501(c)(3) Book Club this Friday to discuss The Blue Sweater. So don’t miss your chance to talk international development with our director Peter Laugharn and his wife Marie Kagaju Laugharn!

Santa Cruz Community Foundation, 501(c)(3) Book Club: The Blue Sweater

We often hear buzz words these days reminding us to conserve, recycle, give to the less fortunate.  These serve as reminders to cue actions in our daily lives that affect a world beyond [...]

Want Real Change? Go To Communities

Mia Schmid, Firelight Learning & Evaluation Associate

Recently a colleague shared a news article about Ben Affleck’s grantmaking and advocacy organization Eastern Congo Initiative (ECI). At first I was skeptical, then pleasantly surprised to find that ECI mirrored many of the values and principles we practice here at Firelight. We’re always excited to see our peers openly promote community leadership  as the means to real change. 

In one interview Affleck stated, “the people doing the best work, with the real expertise, [...]

Cradle Making in Santa Cruz

This February, The Cradle Project opened for the first time in California at the Santa Cruz Museum of Art and History (MAH). The exhibit includes twenty-two cradles from the original 2008 installation, and new cradles made by Santa Cruz artists Wes Modes, Heidi Cramer, and Luke Wilson.

Wes Modes making a cradle. Photo credit: Santa Cruz MAH.

The MAH put their unique stamp on the exhibit with the interactivity and community participation they’re known and loved for in [...]

The Global Giving Storytelling Project

Evaluating impact is something we’re always interested in learning more about. When we heard about the Global Giving Storytelling Project, we were pretty excited about it because it includes talking directly with communities to find out what people say about the impact of community projects on their lives. We asked Marc Maxson to tell us more about the project and why it matters.

The Global Giving Storytelling Project By Marc Maxson

For the past few years, GlobalGiving has been working with organizations in [...]

Valentine Community Cupids

This Valentine’s Day I think we should have Community Cupids and show our love and support for our communities. So here’s my Valentine’s Day challenge for all of you. Between the chocolates, flowers and kisses, I want you to take a picture holding a paper heart with your favorite Community Cupid written on it. It can be the name of a person or an organization…anyone who is giving love to your community. Post your photo to the Firelight Facebook page [...]

Expanding the Ethics of Care In Philanthropy

As an undergraduate studying philosophy, my absolute least favorite class was Introduction to Ethics — a requirement, of course, to earn my degree. I am a bit ashamed to admit that I spent most of the class eye-rolling my way through all of the reading and discussions. Moral philosophy was never my thing.

So it has since struck me as a little funny that in the eight years that followed there has been one chapter, from one book, from that one [...]

We did it! Fund: Child Safety Success

Our first Fund closed two weeks earlier than expected and we couldn’t be happier.

The Fund: Child Safety opened on November 19th,  2013 and the response has been fantastic. We raised $25,000 to increase community efforts to keep children safe. The four partners involved in the fund now have more resources to strengthen their community efforts to keep children safe. We’re looking forward to keeping you informed of what they’re up to.

Since we launched Fund: Child Safety in November, our community [...]