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despairtohope2

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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Children forming a circle and joining hands outside in Zambia

Our next phase in early childhood development: diving deeper into quality and expanding to birth-to-3

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Studies show early childhood development (ECD) is critical to a child’s ability to succeed in school and has implications on achievement later in life.  This is especially true for children who have been affected by poverty, violence, and HIV and AIDS.  However, few children have access to quality early childhood services in Africa, especially in rural areas.  Today, less than 12% of African children have access to Early Childhood Care and Education Services.  Over the last few years, Firelight has [...]

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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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Students in Firelight partner programs

How are children learning? Uwezo assessment findings from our partners in Tanzania

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In Tanzania, Firelight is working to encourage, strengthen, and replicate or scale innovations in early learning among community-based organizations to improve children’s school readiness, literacy, and numeracy outcomes. Each of Firelight’s grassroots partners under this program takes a holistic and innovative approach to increasing community involvement in children’s early learning. Supported by The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the overarching goal of our Grassroots Innovations in Early Learning Initiative is to improve reading, writing, and arithmetic levels for children in the early [...]

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31 March 2016
The 2016 Global Forum on Development
OECD Headquarters, Paris, France
Photo: OECD/Andrew Wheeler

Sustainable Development Goals – Think Globally, Act Locally

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On March 30th and 31st I had the extraordinary opportunity and honor to represent the voice of locally-focused philanthropy on two panels at the Global Forum of Development at the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. As representatives gathered from member nation-states and multi-lateral institutions, I took stock of the momentous nature of the occasion. We are at a critical point in global development as we build the platforms and collaborations that will hopefully fulfill the Sustainable Development Goals and [...]

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