Baraket now studies in a government class after graduating from a Speed School. His mother, Sheto, participated in a collective savings group with other Speed School mothers. She has recently been able to set up a coffee shop and can now afford to send all her children to school.
WHAT GUIDES US
The Luminos Fund is dedicated to creating education innovations to unlock the light within every child. Around the world, there are 250 million children who never manage to learn how to read and write -- 120 million of them don’t even get the chance to try as they are denied the opportunity to go to school (UNICEF, 2015) Beginning in the Sahel in Africa, through the refugee crises in the Middle East, and into South Asia, we work to ensure children denied the chance to learn by poverty, conflict, or discrimination get access to the quality education they deserve.
By developing and scaling innovative approaches to learning for the most vulnerable children, we’re able to work at the margins of the education system, in a space where we can create real change. As we scale pioneering, new approaches to bring quality education to children in the greatest need, we work together with local governments to drive systems-level change.
The Luminos Fund was incubated by the Legatum Foundation, creator of the End Fund and Freedom Fund. Legatum’s early investment in international education innovations enabled the refinement and scaling of Speed School, an accelerated learning, back-to-school program. Through the Speed School program, we have enabled over 100,000 children in Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger, and Ethiopia to get a second chance at an education.
The Luminos Fund is founded on a core belief in the power of private philanthropy to drive real innovation in global education. The transformational power of giving is our touchstone, and we are inspired by the authentic, human connection which can come from the best forms of philanthropy.
MEET OUR TEAM
Caitlin Baron is the inaugural CEO of the Luminos Fund. She spent the previous decade as a senior leader within the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation, helping to grow the organization to steward over $1 billion in charitable giving. She founded and led the foundation’s office in South Africa, building large national partnerships with the Department of Basic Education and creating the Dell Young Leaders scholarship program, which has awarded over 500 scholarships to some of the poorest South Africans. Caitlin also helped launch the foundation’s first international office in India, where she built MSDF’s impact investing portfolio, completing the foundation’s first equity transactions in numerous Indian social enterprises.
Prior to working with the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation, Caitlin spent three years with an international microfinance NGO, based in New York but working across Africa and the Middle East. Caitlin began her career as a strategy consultant with Monitor Company, working on corporate strategy engagements with Fortune 100 companies in the investment banking, life insurance, pharmaceutical, and telecommunications industries. She graduated from UCLA in Political Science and is currently pursuing an executive masters with the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. She and her husband are kept on their toes by their rambunctious toddler and his sophisticated older sister.
Mubuso serves as the Fund's Managing Director. He most recently led the Global Partnerships team at Ashoka as a Senior Vice President, cultivating foundation, corporation, and individual partnerships to improve how children grow up and adults collaborate for the good of all. He was previously CEO of the Albany Charter School Network and served as Regional Director for charter schools in Maryland and Pennsylvania. Mubuso has worked in a variety of sectors, including international development, the power industry, and retail and commercial banking.
As an entrepreneur, Mubuso launched School Ventures to improve education opportunities in Africa by helping investors understand the continent’s education markets and supporting the entrepreneurs operating schools for the poor. He also founded the BOOST Fellowship, a 15-year initiative helping university students in Zimbabwe transition from the classroom to the workplace.
Mubuso is an advisory committee member of the Halcyon Incubator in Washington D.C. and a strategic advisor for the b*free network for freelancers in New York. He is an Echoing Green Fellow, a Pahara-Aspen Education Fellow, a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network, and a Rhodes Scholar. Most importantly, Mubuso and his wife are joyfully parents to three indefatigable boys.
Nikita is the Senior Director of Programs. Previously, she served as part of the senior management team at STIR Education where she helped set-up the organization's India operations. Nikita played a critical role in helping STIR grow to $1.8M over two years and impacting 400,000 children globally. Prior to working at STIR, Nikita was a manager in the marketing team at Parikrma Humanity Foundation where she worked with the CEO to help de-risk Parikrma's funding model by exploring new donor segments. Nikita began her career as a software engineer with TechMahindra Ltd and worked with some of the biggest telecom companies globally.
As part of her Master's, Nikita interned with DfID's Business Innovation Facility where she studied the impact of inclusive business models in Zambia. Nikita holds an MBA (with distinction) in Social Entrepreneurship & Finance from Said Business School, University of Oxford where she headed the education business network, and a Bachelor of Engineering from SGSITS, Indore. She currently serves on the board of Indus Action, an education rights organization in India. She is also a trained Kathak dancer and a state level Badminton player.
Lindsey provides analytical support across the team and administrative support to the leadership as Special Assistant to the CEO. Previously, she worked as a student researcher at MIT D-Lab, designing technological solutions to challenges in the energy, WASH, and agriculture sectors of low-income countries. For her thesis project, she developed a procedure to increase the lifespan of machinery for sustainable charcoal producers in rural Uganda. Lindsey holds a BS in Mechanical Engineering from MIT and is currently pursuing a MicroMasters in Data, Economics, and Development Policy. Outside of work, she can be found on the volleyball court or at theatre rehearsal.
INVESTORS AND PARTNERS
The Luminos Fund is a private philanthropic donor fund which aims to bring the life-changing opportunity of education to the most educationally marginalized children with the support and partnership of our investors.
Results and Efficiency
The Fund is results-oriented and rigorously monitors every grant investment. We respond to challenges swiftly, staying flexible, fostering and embracing innovation.
Improving access to education is dependent on a broad range of partners working together in concert – NGOs, governments, schools, parents, students, and committed donors. The Luminos Fund is dedicated to serving the whole education community, particularly children and families, by placing its unique assets and insights at their service.
Excellence and Stewardship
The Fund adopts a private sector approach that employs best practice principles, minimizing unnecessary bureaucracy and delivering the very highest returns on an investment. We are always mindful of the trust donors have placed in the Fund and deeply committed to the responsible planning and management of assets.
Joy and the transformational power of giving
We believe that giving is a joyful and transformative experience that enhances the lives of donor and grantee alike. A donation to the Fund introduces donors to the African concept of “Ubuntu” which means, “I am because you are”. This is the recognition that we are all connected to one another and that by helping others, we help ourselves.
We look to bring creativity and new ideas to the challenge of education reform and to out-of-school children in particular, piloting new pedagogical approaches to demonstrate better practice.
The Luminos Fund was incubated by the Legatum Foundation and their philanthropic advisor, Geneva Global, over the course of the last several years. Inspired by their initial successful partnership with the Stromme Foundation in West Africa in 2010, Legatum and Geneva Global created a refined accelerated learning program to enable children in Ethiopia, who are denied an education, get back to school. Through Legatum's investment, over 100,000 children have been educated in over 3,700 schools since 2011.
The Luminos Fund began operations as the Speed School Fund in 2016. In its first year of operations, the Fund expanded to two new countries, continuing to scale the Speed School program as well as piloting new approaches to bring refugees and other marginalized children back to school. With an expanded programmatic scope, the Fund sought a new name which would better encompass our full vision to be the R&D laboratory for education for the most vulnerable. In February 2017, we adopted a name, the Luminos Fund, which reflects our dedication to creating education innovations that unlock the light within every child.
Contact us to learn how you can join a vibrant community of donors and help improve the life prospects of millions of children around the world.
The Luminos Fund
745 Atlantic Avenue
Boston, MA 02111
t: +1 781 333 8317