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Meeting Children’s Needs in Africa: Firelight Foundation

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Member Spotlight*

Nurturing strong, healthy and happy children requires the collective efforts of the entire community. This member spotlight focus is on the Firelight Foundation that supports community organizations to mobilize their resources to help transform lives of marginalized children, youth, and families. Through their support to local organizations, they acknowledge that real change takes years and demonstrates their belief in the power and ability of African communities to create positive change and lasting solutions.  Firelight has developed partnerships that last up to seven years and provide funding stability that enable effective programs and services to grow. 

Firelight works to identify, fund and strengthen promising community organizations that support the health, resilience, and education of children in Africa through partners with other foundations and individual philanthropists. Their approach is child-centered, family-focused and community-based and they work in partnership with communities to assess problems and develop solutions. 

 Firelight uses five standards of an engagement philosophy to measure their partnerships:

  • Appreciating the strengths of local organizations that includes their agility, resourcefulness, and knowledge. 
  • Strengthening community action by leveraging assets and building knowledge and skills. 
  • Taking a responsive approach by supporting priorities that are relevant to local needs. 
  • Building quality relationships that allow for open discussion and supporting partners to be confident and promote their own work. 
  • Understanding the long-term view that change takes time

The “Grass Roots Innovations In Early Learning Initiative” is an example of Firelight’s approach: working in partnership with the William and Flora Hewitt Foundation and the Flora Family Foundation this initiative funded ten community-based organizations over two years to improve learning, writing and math skills. 

For more information on the Firelight Foundation, please visit their website, FirelightFoundation.org

*Member Spotlight highlights how members of AGAG are working to promote robust, effective, and responsive philanthropy to benefit African communities.