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Firelight and Graça Machel on making a better future for Africa’s women and children

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“First, listen – it is their development – not yours – and their development means that it has to come from within” – Graça Machel. This was Mrs. Machel’s parting advice to a group of philanthropists and development specialists gathered to hear her speak at an event hosted by Firelight in June.  This idea of community- and Africa- led development, not donor- or western-led, was very much the evening’s theme for how women and children in Africa will overcome the challenges [...]

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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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Community dialogues from Shinyanga, Tanzania – Actively involving communities in the fight against child marriage

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In the Shinyanga region of Tanzania, Firelight is partnering with a cluster of 13 community-based organizations (CBOs) that are fighting against the scourge of child marriage and to protect and uphold the rights of girl children in their communities. Firelight and its partners chose Shinyanga because it has the highest rates of child marriage in Tanzania. What is participatory research? Participatory research is an approach to research in communities that emphasizes participation and action. It seeks to understand the world by trying to change it, [...]

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Introducing Firelight’s new board members and board chair

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Firelight is thrilled to announce the addition of three new members to our Board of Directors – Paru Yusuf, Jimmy Kolker, and Elisa de Martel.  All three of these professionals come to Firelight with a history of extensive accomplishments in politics, international development, philanthropy, and technology.  Their expertise is invaluable to Firelight, and we are truly humbled that they have joined us in our mission of investing in communities to improve the health, education, well-being, and resilience of children and [...]

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Understanding ECD quality in Malawi: Reflections on Firelight panel at CIES

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Earlier this month, Firelight was honored to facilitate a panel of presentations sharing the first year of our work in Malawi to build the capacity of our partners and improve the quality of early childhood development (ECD) centers they support. This panel was part of the annual conference of the Comparative and International Education Society (CIES), held in Atlanta, Georgia, and was organized as part of the Africa Special Interest Group of the CIES. We were thrilled to have a [...]

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