Honoring Our Colleagues And The Fight Against HIV And AIDS After Malaysia Airlines Flight 17

We were deeply saddened by the senseless loss of MH17 Malaysia Airlines flight 17 on July 17, which had taken off from Amsterdam and was shot down over Ukraine.  Among the lives lost were some of the world’s most prestigious HIV and AIDS researchers and activists who were headed to Melbourne for the International AIDS Conference.

This tragedy hit particularly close to home, as I had spent nine years of my life in The Netherlands, and several of those [...]

Fund: Her Village Venture is a Success

Wow. We have the best community!

Last Friday, Fund: Her Village Venture closed with $15,000 for women in Malawi to launch small businesses and keep girls in school. It was a big success thanks to all of you.

Now 100 women in Malawi are preparing to start their new business ventures. They’ll be enrolling in business training, starting peer support groups, receiving small business loans and setting up savings and loan groups to give back and keep girls in school at their local community organizations: [...]

A Champion Behind Fund: Her Village Venture

One of the champions behind Fund: Her Village Venture is Gayle Ortiz. She’s a warm, smart and thoughtful business leader who’s been a part of our Firelight community in great ways. We told her about one woman in Malawi, Patuma, who started her own bakery a few years before and that we had plans to help more women launch businesses with similar support.

Read Patuma’s story: Patuma Bakes: Women In Malawi Venture into Entrepreneurship

Gayle, also a bakery owner at the amazing Gayle’s Bakery, signed up to [...]

New Follows @FirelightFnd =$5 to Fund:HerVillageVenture

There are only two days left in Fund: Her Village Venture and there is just over $5,000 needed to close this fund. One of our amazing donors wants to help us spread the word, but we need your help! 

For every new Twitter follower, we will receive $5 for Fund: Her Village Venture for up to $5,000. It’s that simple!

If over 1,000 people tweet, we’ll meet our goal. So please ask your friends, followers and colleagues to help us out. We have two days [...]

Capturing Culture: Ten Photography Tips for Travelers

Ami Vitale shares with us her Top 10 Rules of Travel Photography, because:

“Photography is not about the camera. It’s not even about the beautiful images we create. It is about telling powerful stories. Photography is a tool for creating awareness and understanding across cultures, communities, and countries; a tool to make sense of our commonalities in the world we share.”

And we couldn’t agree more!

The old adage that a picture (or photograph) is worth a thousand [...]

Patuma Bakes: Women In Malawi Venture into Entrepreneurship

We told you Patuma’s story in Fund: Her Village Venture. She’s the woman who started a home bakery that earns enough income to make sure her four children attend school and have three meals a day. We checked in with Namwera AIDS Coordinating Committee to ask how Patuma is doing and heard things are going well.

Patuma is using the savings earned from her bakery business to diversify. She wanted to make sure that her family was secure, regardless of the [...]

Checking Our Organizational Posture: Board Members As Financial Appraisers

Here’s a resource from Management Sciences for Health (MSH), to help organizations assess financial oversight. Assessing Your Organization’s Capacity to Manage Finances provides some of the key issues of financial oversight. We’ve include a few of the highlights below and you can find the entire report online.

The Authority of the Board of Directors

In an organizational setting, a board of directors bears the ultimate responsibility for all actions, issues, and processes. Even financial responsibility rests on their shoulders. 

Early on in the lifespan of an organization, [...]

Safe Communities, Resilient Children: Accepting Applications Now

We are now accepting applications for new partnerships in Tanzania and Zimbabwe to strengthen community-based child protection systems.

In this “Safe Communities, Resilient Children” initiative, we will focus on building program competency in child rights, child protection, and programs that build children’s emotional health.

We’ll be selecting organizations that meet these criteria:

Evidence of leadership and governance Sound organizational management A strong relationship with the community Effective programmatic approaches

Submission deadlines are quickly approaching.

For partnerships in Tanzania, submissions must be received by August 15, 2014

For partnerships in [...]

It Started With Three Chickens

Women start their own businesses because it’s a long term, sustainable solution to ending poverty and supporting their families. That’s why we started Fund: Her Village Venture to help women in Malawi start new businesses and open doors for girls to go to school.

Here’s a story from one of our Fund Advisors, Tomaida Banda, in Zimbabwe. Tomaida works with many women launching their own businesses so when she’s excited about a story, we’re excited too.

Margaret’s Story: Empowering Women…with Chickens

A young woman named Margaret living [...]

Women Create Opportunities Through Business in Malawi


Tikondane Positive Living Support Organisation (TIPOLISO) in Malawi is a part of Fund: Her Village Venture. This is a wonderful opportunity to provide women with small business training and entrepreneurial skills and opportunities in their communities.

In 2004, TIPOLISO started as a small women’s support group meeting under a tree. Now it has grown into an organization that works to promote human rights, food security, household economic strengthening and early childhood development for marginalized populations in southern Malawi. TIPOLISO fights stigma [...]