Investing in Young Children, Investing in New Partnerships

Firelight provides grants, capacity building, mentorship, and networks to grantee partners. Building effective organizations that make real change for children and families is a challenging, long-term effort. That’s why we look for organizations already doing good work with scarce resources, invest in them, and establish seven-year partnerships through which we can grow together. One of our promising new partnerships is the Tanzania Home Economics Association (TAHEA). TAHEA is based in the Mwanza District in northwest Tanzania, on the shores of Lake Victoria.

The fishing communities on the lake [...]

Fund: Healthy Beginnings is Now Open

When we talk about HIV and AIDS, the conversation is often about testing and treatment. That’s important, but it’s not the whole story. Testing and treatment provide children a healthy life, but family, school, and community are critical to success.

We just launched Fund: Healthy Beginnings to raise $15,000 to support children living with HIV in Zambia.

Here’s a glimpse of what this Fund will do…

Support parents accessing treatment to prevent transmission of HIV Train caregivers to manage pediatric HIV and AIDS at home Provide children [...]

How Firelight Partners Use Mobile

Mobile data collection is here to stay. It can be a great tool to cut costs and improve accuracy and efficiency of monitoring and evaluation efforts. Several of our partners had expressed an interest in adopting mobile data collection tools for their monitoring and evaluation work, so we conducted a survey of 27 partner organizations to understand the contexts in which they work. These tools can be incredibly useful in the long run, but they require that every stakeholder is [...]

Supporting Our Partners in Mobile Tech

A cluster of mobiles phones at a solar charging station in Rwanda.









  Mobile technology has the potential to improve service delivery at the community level and make it easier to share findings across networks. Our partners are currently collecting data in paper form. While over one third are digitizing these forms, and just under half are organizing the digital data in electronic databases, accessing the information they need when they need it is still a big headache. Finding and analyzing [...]

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 [...]