Enabling children to catch up is just the beginning. Helping them stay in school and learn effectively is the greater goal.


The Luminos Fund is based on the success of the Second Chance program funded by Legatum Foundation which has helped over 100,000 children get back to school in Ethiopia and Liberia.



Dear Friends,

There is nothing like a child’s joy when they discover that all the world’s knowledge is available to them because they can read and write. It unlocks the light within and gives them a sense of freedom and opportunity. It compels them to want to learn all they can about our planet – its places, peoples, possibilities, and even problems. It inspires them to keep on learning – whenever they can and for as long as they can – as they strive to make a meaningful contribution to society throughout their lives.

We call this experience “joyful learning”, and we believe it’s something every child deserves. The unfortunate reality is that there are still millions of children worldwide who do not get a chance to learn at all. This is an injustice and an inequality that needs to be addressed. That’s why Luminos exists. We’re here for children like Mary in Liberia and Ahmed in Lebanon, who have faced barriers related to poverty, conflict, and discrimination that have delayed their opportunity to learn.

With your incredible support, however, Luminos has been able to step into the gap and provide a second chance to children like Mary and Ahmed. We are thrilled to be able to work with our dedicated network of implementing partners, committed investors, and thoughtful experts, who have helped bring joyful learning opportunities to life for these children in Ethiopia, Liberia, and Lebanon. Over the next three years, with your help, we will not only expand opportunities in these countries, but also bring joyful learning to children in other locations as well.

The recognition for our programs over the last year has been deeply humbling. We are honored and delighted to have received the WISE Award from the Qatar Foundation and the HundrED Global Innovations Award. It is a tribute to the hard work our children and their learning facilitators have put into their learning. We are so very proud of them!

In the coming years, we want to play a role in improving the information available to education decision-makers, encouraging more collaborative action, facilitating experimentation, and supporting evidence-based systems change as we work together to make joyful learning available to all children.

We look forward to your partnership as we progress in this critical journey. Thanks for your continuing support!

Caitlin Baron
CEO, the Luminos Fund

Download a PDF copy of the 2017 Luminos Fund Annual Report


104,331children brought back to school


Of children have returned to MAINSTREAM school


No. of Second Chance schools
Facilitators & teachers trained 4,145


mothers in parental engagement groups


Of graduates are still in mainstream education after 12 months
31,539 pre-schoolers enrolled in school readiness programs


12,872teachers trained in linked government schools


Linked government schools



Quantitative and qualitative monitoring and evaluation is a core piece of the Second Chance program. We regularly track inputs, outputs, outcomes, and impact to ensure learnings from the ground guide program design and implementation. Project progress is also monitored through qualitative reporting such as direct feedback from beneficiaries.

The evaluation design consists of the following metrics:

  • Baseline and endline assessments to gauge student literacy/numeracy levels plus continuous assessments to ensure children meet the minimum grade level competencies.
  • Baseline and endline evaluation of parental engagement groups to understand the parents’ shift in behaviors and attitudes.
  • A longitudinal study to evaluate how Second Chance graduates fare in government schools and to understand the difference the program makes in a student’s life trajectory compared to non-entrants.

We maintain a strong relationship with evaluation partners from the Centre for International Education at the University of Sussex as well as researchers from the University of Hawassa.

To date, more than 90% of Second Chance children transition into government schools. According to our most recent evaluation by the University of Sussex, 75% of them are still in school six years after transition. Early evaluation reports also suggest that Second Chance children outperform their government school counterparts once in the government schooling system.

Click here to read the University of Sussex's evaluation report.



The Luminos Fund has positively impacted the lives of children and communities in West Africa and rural Ethiopia since 2007.