In 2015, the United Nations Development Programme established 17 Sustainable Development Goals that serve as “a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity.” Of these 17 goals, the Bainum Family Foundation tackles the first five — no poverty, zero hunger, good health and well-being, quality education and gender equality — through our Global Education Fund.
While our Foundation’s efforts are primarily concentrated in the Washington, D.C., area, the Global Education Fund is a Bainum family philanthropy initiative that furthers our mission in some of the most difficult corners of the world — addressing education issues including early childhood development, early primary, and education for women and girls. We do this by partnering with respected global organizations that make vulnerable and marginalized children in developing countries a top priority.
“All around the world, the interest in the early years of life is growing,” says Joan Lombardi, an internationally recognized expert on child and family policy and a member of the Bainum Family Foundation’s Board of Directors. “Now more than ever before, we understand the importance of investing early in a child’s life to ensure long-term health and learning. The Foundation’s Global Education Fund recognizes the importance of the early years from local communities to global change.”
Founded in 2014 by Bruce Bainum, son of the Foundation’s founders and a long-time Board member, the Global Education Fund convenes experienced stakeholders to build a body of knowledge and implement proven strategies in early childhood — maximizing our impact and best serving children and families in underserved communities.
“The world has 1.4 billion people living on less than $1.25 per day. Making a difference in these people’s lives is very doable for a relatively small amount of money, which means greater impact on more people.”
— Bruce Bainum
Our current group of partner organizations includes the following:
- Firelight Foundation strengthens communities in Africa that have been heavily affected by poverty, HIV and AIDS, working to support the health, resilience and education of children. With the Foundation’s help, Firelight supports more than 2,100 children ages 0 to 10 by assessing and improving the quality of community-based early childhood development centers in Malawi.
- Global Fund for Children (GFC) works to transform the lives of children on the edges of society, including trafficked children, refugees and child laborers. With the Foundation’s help, GFC strengthens community-based organizations that provide early childhood development programs to nearly 3,300 children ages 0 to 5, primarily in Kenya, Tanzania and Zambia.
- The International Rescue Committee (IRC) supports children, youth and adults whose lives are shattered by conflict and disaster. IRC uses the Foundation’s support to improve early childhood programming and wrap-around supports for 3,600 children ages 3 to 10 in six refugee camps in Ethiopia.
- Save the Children invests in childhood, giving children around the world a healthy start, the opportunity to learn and protection from harm. Save the Children has used the Foundation’s funding in Uganda to develop a “Boost for the Youngest” tool-kit to help parents and caregivers support the cognitive, social and emotional growth of young children, ultimately reaching 5,000 children.
To learn how our Global Education Fund fits into the Foundation’s overall mission and strategy, check out our new “Year in Review.”