Posts written by “Peter Laugharn


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

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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 [...]

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Financing Global Basic Education

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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 [...]

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Today is Giving Tuesday

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In the last few years, it seems that the Thanksgiving holiday has become something of a roller coaster of days celebrating both generosity and materialism. This year, we have zigzagged from giving thanks on Thursday… to cruising the malls for deals on Black Friday… to supporting local businesses on Small Business Saturday to remembering three decades of hope and despair on World AIDS Day on Sunday… to surfing for more e-deals on Cyber Monday… And today we arrive, exhausted but exhilarated, at Giving Tuesday. Giving Tuesday allows [...]

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Bringing Our Communities Closer Together

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We frequently talk about African communities, but today, I’m thinking about Firelight’s other grassroots community.  The one you’re a part of. You and many others belong to a growing grassroots network, much of it online, filled with people who believe in African community organizations and who are looking for ways to support them. Today we launched a new online strategy, summed up in our new tagline: Communities stop poverty. These three simple words encapsulate our mission, our beliefs, our goals, and our message. We want [...]

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A Fresh Look at Halloween

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Marie and Peter My wife Marie and I are still trying to figure out where Halloween fits in our family culture. In Rwanda, where Marie is from, Halloween is unknown.  Marie dislikes the ghoulish aspects of Halloween.  Rwanda has seen too much real blood in its recent past, too many real skeletons, for her to enjoy this part of Halloween.  Marie can’t fathom why our otherwise pleasant neighbors decide to dress up their lawns with skulls, tombstones, and spiders. Marie and I [...]

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