Posts written by “Firelight


“I am persistent and determined to succeed in life” – celebrating safe, strong children affected by HIV in Lesotho

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Last month, the worldwide community of experts in HIV and AIDS came together for the 22nd International AIDS conference — “Breaking Barriers, Building Bridges” — in Amsterdam.  In a press conference about the state of the HIV epidemic in sub-Saharan Africa, Aleya Khalifa of UNICEF shared: “The world is committed to ending AIDS by 2030.  However, demographic shifts in various regions could threaten this global progress.  In particular, the child population in sub-Saharan Africa is expected to increase from 500 million [...]

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Communities ending child marriage in Tanzania

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In 2016, the rate of child marriage in the Shinyanga region of Tanzania was 59%.  In other words, for every 100 girls below the age of 18, 59 of them were taken from their families and were married too early, often to much older men.  These vulnerable young girls quickly became more at risk of teenage pregnancy, domestic violence, and sexually transmitted infections.  But we believe that while the reasons behind the practice are deeply entrenched, they can be overcome. Supporting [...]

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Using data to improve early childhood development in Malawi

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Why is Firelight investing in early childhood development? Abundant scientific evidence illustrates the outsized influence of early childhood programs on lifelong development, especially in low- and middle-income countries.  But in sub-Saharan Africa, early childhood development (ECD) remains the least prioritized, least coordinated, and least resourced component of the education sector, with less than 12% of children accessing quality ECD services.  In response to this gap and opportunity, Firelight partnered with the Hilton Foundation and the Bainum Family Foundation to build the [...]

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Celebrating empowerment in action on International Women’s Day

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empower:  to make someone stronger and more confident, especially in controlling their life and claiming their rights Today in honor of International Women’s Day, we celebrate Julienne Bamurange—director of Young Women Destination, one of Firelight’s community-based organization partners in Rwanda—and her journey of self-empowerment.  She, with Firelight’s support, is now empowering dozens of other young girls to take charge of their own destinies.  Here in her own words (translated from the original French), Julienne proudly shares her story with Firelight. My name [...]

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Ambassador Jimmy Kolker on why CBOs are the best investment for African development

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Firelight is honored that Ambassador Jimmy Kolker — after a long career in the U.S. government as a diplomat and at UNICEF as Chief of the HIV and AIDS Section —joined the Board of Directors in February 2017.  Below we share Ambassador Kolker’s thoughts on why he supports Firelight and why he believes funding community-based organizations is essential to development in sub-Saharan Africa. I’ve had a wonderful but unusual career – 30 years as a Department of State Foreign Service officer, [...]

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