"I dream for a world which is free of child labor, a world in which every child goes to school."
Kailash Satyarthi, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate


We work in countries with the highest rates of out-of-school children, bringing education and opportunity to the most marginalized students around the world.



The Luminos Fund currently operates in three countries, focusing on the areas with the highest rates of out-of-school children. Our flagship program in Ethiopia enrolled over 14,000 children in Second Chance schools--known as Speed Schools in Ethiopia-- this academic year. In 2016, we launched the Second Chance program in Liberia, and we began running back-to-school programs in Lebanon, a country heavily impacted by the Syrian refugee crisis.




Key facts

Total Population: 94.1 million
Out-of-school children age 7-14:

  • Number: 5,774,000
  • Percent of girls: 31%
  • Percent of boys: 34%

Pupil-teacher ratio: 54:1 Public sector education expenditure per primary-school-age pupil (as % of GDP per capita): 19%


Ethiopia has the second highest number of out-of-school children in Sub-Saharan Africa, with an estimated 2.1 million children not in primary school. Since 2011, the Second Chance program--known as Speed School in Ethiopia--has worked in partnership with 14 different Ethiopian NGO’s to enable more than 100,000 children to get a second chance at an education. In 2018, the Luminos Fund is enabling 9,475 Ethiopian children to get back to school, across the Amhara, SNNPR, and Tigray regions.

After several years of impact, the Luminos Fund has been approached by the Ethiopian Ministry of Education to partner in developing a government-operated version of the Second Chance program. Efforts are underway to scope this next phase of engagement.

Implementing Partner Impact Since 2016

Adams Thermal System Foundation

2,946Students Learning520Teachers Trained
Ethiopian Evangelical Church Mekane Yesus Development and Social Service Commission3,891Students Learning850Teachers Trained
Hansesha Assistance & Development Organization2,245Students Learning390Teachers Trained
Hope for Children in Ethiopia Relief and Development Association2,453Students Learning440Teachers Trained
Impact Association for Social Services

2,447Students Learning390Teachers Trained
Integrated Service for AIDS Prevention & Support Organization2,995Students Learning520Teachers Trained
Netsebrak Reproductive Health & Social Development Organization1,308Students Learning256Teachers Trained
Operation Rescue Ethiopia

2,686Students Learning520Teachers Trained
Professional Alliance for Development

2,471Students Learning440Teachers Trained
Rehoboth Supporting & Development Organization1,495Students Learning260Teachers Trained
Summer Institute for Linguistics

1,741Students Learning310Teachers Trained
Tigray Development Association

2,080Students Learning390Teachers Trained
Wide Horizons for Children

2,980Students Learning520Teachers Trained
Wolitta Development Association

3,579Students Learning586Teachers Trained





Key facts

Total Population: 4.2 million
Out-of-school children age 7-12

  • Number: 445,575
  • Percent of girls: 49%
  • Percent of boys: 45%

Pupil-teacher ratio: 28:1 Public sector education expenditure per primary-school-age pupil (as % of GDP per capita): 9%


Africa’s oldest republic, Liberia has faced decades of intermittent instability and conflict since the 1980’s, and, in many ways, is still recovering from the Ebola outbreak in 2015, when schools were closed for an entire year. Liberia suffers from one of the highest recorded rates of out-of-school children in the world, with 58% of primary-school-age children currently missing out on an education.

In 2016 we commenced work in Liberia, running a Second Chance pilot which enabled 2,000 children in Montserrado and Bomi counties to get back to school by September 2017. We aim to help 40,000 children in Liberia to get back to school by 2022.

Read a first-hand account of our work in Liberia on our blog.

To learn more about our impact through the Liberia Second Chance program, download the full investment case [pdf].

Implementing Partner Impact Since 2016

Community Activity for Livelihood in Liberia375Students Learning15Teachers Trained
Liberia Institute for the Promotion of Academic Excellence375Students Learning15Teachers Trained
Restoring Our Children's Hope500Students Learning20Teachers Trained
Street Child Liberia750Students Learning30Teachers Trained




Key facts

Total Population: 4.2 million
Number of registered refugees in Lebanon: 1,017,433
Number of registered refugees under the age of 18: 551,449
Estimated number of unregistered refugees: 500,000
60% of registered Syrian refugees in Lebanon are out of school


The war in Syria has wrought immense suffering on children and their families, with 6 million people displaced from their homes within Syria, and another 4.8 million struggling as refugees in the region. One quarter of Lebanon’s population is now estimated to be Syrian refugees, with one million children now seeking places to continue to go to school (UNICEF). 

The Lebanese government has taken the extraordinary step of committing to enroll all Syrian refugee children in their public school system. As positive as the policy environment might be, the reality at school level is that there are still numerous barriers to access, from academic under-preparedness to discrimination. Currently only half of the Syrian refugees in Lebanon are attending formal school.

Working with a strong local NGO, we have developed a two-part program model for refugee children who are out of school – academic support to get them up to speed and back to school, and follow on social worker engagement to be sure they succeed in school over the long term. In 2017, we will enable 600 Syrian refugee children to get back to school in Lebanon.

Implementing Partner Impact Since 2016

Ana Aqra Association600Students Learning5,400Parents in Literacy Classes