Grantee Stories

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Empowering Malawian community-based organizations to create secondary school education pathways for vulnerable girls

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Charity Mankhokwe is a 19-year-old girl pursuing her dream of a career in the tourism sector. This milestone seemed incredibly distant a few years ago, when her parents could barely afford her secondary education. However, a loan from a Firelight community-based grantee – Foundation for Community Livelihood and Development (FOCOLD) – empowered her parents to start their own small enterprise and brighten their family’s future. Their hard work in their self-started grocery shop is what paves the way for Charity [...]

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From Despair to Hope: the story of Neema Lucas from Shinyanga, Tanzania

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Imagine that you are a 15-year-old girl married to a 37-year-old man.  As a young girl, you grew up dreaming of becoming a teacher, but this hope shattered when your parents forced you to drop out of school after Grade 7 –at the age of 14—to get married. Your life changed in an instant.  You now rely on your husband to meet your basic needs, but he spends most of his money on alcohol and other women.  You can not [...]

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21st century blog

Reflections on recent site visits to education partners in Tanzania

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Our partners in our Grassroots Innovations in Early Learning initiative are implementing a range of innovative approaches to improve children’s early development and learning in Tanzania. Recently, I had the honor of visiting three of these partners, and getting a first-hand look at some of the wonderful work that they are doing. In Dar-es-Salaam, I spent some time with Organization for Community Development (OCODE). OCODE works with communities and local government to improve the learning environment in early primary, focusing particularly on [...]

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Solange. Valentine. Justine.

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Genocide. HIV. War. Poverty. Rape. This is an incredible list of threats to a young girl. Many of us would struggle to survive only one of these, but on a recent trip to Rwanda I met many young women who have survived all of them – and thrived. Solange’s Story After Solange’s parents died, the only way she could survive was to cross the border illegally from Rwanda into the Democratic Republic of Congo. Solange was taking a “short cut” – an [...]

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Transect Walk

Engaging children in community mapping and other participatory methodologies

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Firelight’s Resilience Initiative provides funding and capacity building support to grassroots organizations in Tanzania working to ensure children realize the fulfillment of their rights and their potential within a safe, caring, and protective environment. Child participation in community-based initiatives is important, particularly for programs for children. Children provide a unique and critical perspective that can help to ensure programs and activities truly respond to their needs and priorities. In July and August, our Shinyanga-based grantee-partners in the Resilience Initiative carried out community [...]

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