Projects

LIGHT MY FIRE PROJECTS IN WASHINGTON, D.C.

Giving Survivors of Trafficking a New Life
In Washington, D.C., girls and young women are trafficked by pimps, gangs, the police, even family members.  Becoming a survivor of trafficking is a challenge and requires support, services, a path to self-esteem and a productive life.  Light My Fire is providing a grant to Courtney’s House, an organization run by a survivor, to help it provide trafficked young women a new and better way to survive.

Helping Senior Women Escape Homelessness
Homelessness is a desperate problem for many people in D.C. including 1300 single women.  While a number of programs focus their efforts on homeless families, principally mothers and children, few address the needs of senior women who are alone in the world.  Light My Fire is making a grant to New Endeavors by Women to help launch a permanent, supportive housing program for 15 senior women aged 55 and older.

Empowering Girls Living in Affordable Housing
A Light My Fire grant to the Girlology Project of SOME (So Others Might Eat), a D.C. program that provides Family Housing for the homeless and hungry.  Girls living in these housing projects are often neglected by their own stressed families and are negatively affected by reality television and social media.  The Girlology Project provides these young women with workshops on life skills, self-esteem, and character-building and emphasizes ways to build positive relationships with peers and adults at home or in school.

EDUCATION/TRAINING

Helping to Keep Girls in School in Uganda
Imagine missing 10 to 20 percent of your school experience because you are a girl.  Girls in Uganda who can’t afford commercial menstrual pads are sometimes forced to use newspapers, rags or corn husks during their menstrual period or stay home from school completely.  A Light My Fire grant to Marianne Vocational School will help to train school age girls to learn tailoring and to enable them to produce thousands of reusable menstrual pads for girls in their community.

Women Farmers in Rural Kenya
A third LMF grant has been awarded to Zawadisha which works in rural Kenya.  The grant allows Zawadisha to expand on previous training activities by training an additional 1000 women and incorporating entrepreneurship activities into their curriculum.  Among other topics, trainees will learn mobile banking through their cell phones, preparation of kitchen garden patches, water harvesting technology, and skills for setting up informal agricultural businesses.

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Postsecondary Education in Malawi
LMF has provided a second grant to Student Driven Solutions in Malawi to fund loans to high school graduates from its Girls Empowered program.  The grant will help girls with scholarship loans for postsecondary training and academic courses.  The loans are to be repaid within five years and will be recycled to other select students.

studentdrivensolutionsmalawi

Financial Literacy and Small Business Training in Malawi
LMF has provided a grant to Student Driven Solutions, an NGO in Malawi that educates young women, ages 15 – 25, in financial literacy and civic responsibility.  In its very first year it helped 68 of its 75 participants become small business owners.  This accomplishment is remarkable considering that only 13% of young women in Malawi are still in school and a third are married  by age 19.

Girls’ Internships in Kenya
LMF helped support internships offered by the Daraja Academy, a school for impoverished, high potential girls. The internships provide career development opportunities for girls as an alternative to early marriage. The internships are a component of the Academy’s high school to university transition program. LMF provided additional funding when Daraja opened the transition program to girls in the local area.

Daraja1Girls’ Internships in Kenya

Financial Literacy in Uganda
LMF grants have twice brought financial literacy training to rural women, mostly AIDS widows, who have no background in budgeting, saving, record-keeping and enterprise development.  LMF expects this Job Training will lead some of these women to participate in mico-loan programs.

Agricultural Training in Kenya
LMF provided two grants to Zawadisha in rural Kenya to train women on the benefits of clean energy and water.  Women are trained in greenhouse management, soil conservation, livestock handling and appropriate technologies.  LMF applauds the work of local trainers who, once trained themselves, disseminated their knowledge to at least 1000 women through mobile phone-assisted learning

Zawadisha.Kenya
Agricultural Training in Kenya

Reproductive Health Education in Guatemala
LMF brought reproductive health information to over 1000 indigenous young women in the highlands of Guatemala.  Due to cultural and religious taboos, Mayan youth learn little about reproductive rights and sexual violence.  LMF’s two grants to a local nonprofit, Mayan Families, have begun to change that.

Mayan FamiliesReproductive Health Education in Guatemala

Sexual Violence Education in India
Through two grants from LMF, over 5000 Indian college students participated in workshops about criminal law reforms and how victims of sexual violence can report crimes and use the law to confront perpetrators.

India.Hyderabad
Sexual Violence Education in India

Job Training in India
LMF contributed to a program offering an occupational alternative sex workers caught in the web of trafficking. The program prepared them to work in occupations such as handicraft production. Once these women grained new skills, LMF’s grant helped them find jobs producing retail goods.

kolkata1Job Training in India

Job Training in Haiti
A LMF grant helped some of Haiti’s most vulnerable HIV-positive single mothers. Several women were trained in computers and baking to prepare them for a place in the workforce.

HaitianWoman
Job Training in Haiti

Micro-loans in Uganda
Two LMF grants in rural Uganda helped a community organization start a micro-loan program.  Eighty women have been trained in basic business skills and granted loans to start small businesses in their community.

Micro-loans in Malawi
LMF’s grant helped women start businesses preparing and selling local snack food to long distance truck drivers and become responsible members of a new micro-loan community.  Mothers now earning even small amounts of business income are better equipped to pay school fees and provide their children with more nutritious food.

Girls’ education in Nepal
LMF sponsored an extracurricular course in Pokhara, Nepal, for disadvantaged teenage girls who learned for the first time about reproductive health, sports, public speaking and jobs in business and the public sector.

Agricultural Education and Production in Malawi
LMF provided two grants to women in Malawi to help launch agricultural production projects.  Breeding pigs and growing soybeans have resulted in new sources of food.  Additional LMF support helped these women purchase soybean oil machinery resulting in another source of income.

MalawiAgricultural Education and Production in Malawi

HEALTH

Family Planning in Guatemala
Young indigenous women in Guatemala have little knowledge about family planning methods or access to them. This results in an extremely high teenage birth rate.  LMF grants have introduced close to 1000 young women to condom use and purchase for family planning and protection from sexually transmitted infections.

Mayan Families
Family Planning in Guatemala

Sexual Abuse Therapy in Bolivia
One out of three girls under the age of 18 is sexually abused in Bolivia. LMF provided three grants to A Breeze of Hope, the only treatment program for sexually abused girls in the country. LMF funded a talented therapist and supported an occupational program when the girls expressed their desire to learn hair salon skills for their future career independence.

CUBE1Sexual Abuse Therapy in Bolivia

Reproductive Health Clinics in Nepal
LMF gave funds to women’s clinics in remote areas of Nepal for pregnancy and maternal care including the introduction of screening for cervical cancer.  An emergency grant was made to help several clinics rebuild after the 2015 earthquake.

Nepal.cervical cancer
Reproductive Health Clinics in Nepal

Obstetric Fistula in Tanzania
LMF funded an outreach worker to visit isolated, rural areas of Tanzania and locate women suffering from obstetric fistula.  These women were provided transportation to a hospital in Arusha where they were provided free medical care.

Tanzanian patient

       Woman Treated for Fistula in Tanzania

Health Education for Bedouin Women in Israel
LMF grants have twice supported health awareness and education projects for Bedouin women. These women, isolated in a highly patriarchal society, benefited from learning about nutrition, diabetes, genetic testing, and postpartum depression.  In its second year the workshop was housed and supported by a local mosque.

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Health Education for Bedouin Women in Israel

Nutrition Education in Burundi
A grant from LMF helped fund a nutrition manager at Village Health Works, founded by Deogratias Niyizonkiza, in rural Burundi.  Women in the local community learned how to grow and serve nutritious foods to fight widespread malnutrition

Refugee Assistance in Greece
LMF made an emergency grant to a volunteer organization in Lesbos, Greece helping women and children fleeing the Middle East. The grant provided desperately needed food, clothing, items for hygiene and protection from the elements.