Upholding the Rights of Vulnerable Children - Lesotho

  • F Funding Initiative/Portfolio

Key Information

Firelight has long recognized that community-based organizations are uniquely positioned to protect children and keep them safe within their communities, especially in tumultuous political and social environments, where community organizations can often serve as stable support systems. Due to their grounding in and understanding of their communities, CBOs are adept at working with the key actors in children’s lives to provide protective safety nets for them. However, CBOs face significant challenges in accessing resources and often have limited capacity in organizational management. In response to this challenge, Firelight began funding many individual community-based organizations in Lesotho working to uphold the rights of vulnerable children. However, we soon realized that we wanted to provide greater support to help these organizations strengthen their structure and their programs. In 2009, Firelight began to work with a stronger community-based organization – Touch Roots Africa (TRA) – to provide workshops to build the capacity of other community organizations in areas such as child protection and organizational development. As a Firelight Lead Partner – a strong indigenous organization that funds and mentors smaller local organizations – TRA could provide essential lived experience in organizational development and tailored contextually-appropriate technical guidance to each CBO. It was clear that TRA’s ability to enhance organizational development could strengthen the critical role of civil society in providing services to children throughout Lesotho. Firelight then recognized that TRA had the potential to take on not only capacity building, but also grantmaking to these small organizations. As a Community Grantmaker, TRA was able to develop a robust “funding pipeline” to the ten CBOs it has supported as Lead Partner since 2009. These resources reach even further into communities where resources for children and families are needed most. As a Community Grantmaker, each sub-grant that TRA makes to a CBO ranges from $6,300 to $8,500 and is used to strengthen each community’s initiatives to protect young children from harm and abuse and to uphold their rights.

Lead Implementing Organization(s)


2009 -




Not applicable or unknown


Not applicable or unknown

Touch Roots Africa (TRA)

COVID-19 Response


Government Affiliation


Ministry Affiliation


Areas of Work Back to Top

Education areas


  • Early childhood development
  • Other

Cross-cutting areas

  • HIV and STIs
  • Nutrition
  • Other
  • Violence (at home, in relationships)

Program participants

Target Audience(s)

Boys (both in school and out of school), Girls (both in school and out of school)


Not applicable or unknown

School Enrolment Status

Some in school

School Level

Not applicable or unknown

Other populations reached

  • Fathers
  • Mothers
  • Other

Participants include

Not applicable or unknown

Program Approaches Back to Top

Community engagement/advocacy/sensitization

  • Community mobilization

Health and childcare services

  • HIV prevention

Life skills education

  • Gender, rights and power


  • Other activities to address/end violence (not captured above)

Reducing economic barriers

  • Income-generating activities

School-related gender-based violence

  • Anti-violence policies and codes of conduct
  • Support in and around schools (e.g. peer counseling, adult-to-student counseling)

Social/gender norms change

  • Engaging parents/caregivers of students or school-age children/adolescents
  • Media campaigns

Program Goals Back to Top

Education goals

  • Increased school completion (general)
  • Increased school enrolment (general)

Cross-cutting goals

  • Changed social norms
  • Improved critical consciousness
  • Improved nutrition
  • Increased knowledge of HIV, puberty, and sexual and reproductive health
  • Reduced poverty/increase household well-being
  • Reduced violence against children in the home