Merry Christmas!



From all at Legatum, we wish you and your family a wonderful Christmas and a prosperous New Year!

Here are some highlights from our network...


Luminos Fund students show a near tenfold improvement in reading in just 10 months

It has been a wonderful year for the Luminos Fund. In addition to being named as one of the world’s leading innovators in K-12 education by HundrED for the third time running, an external evaluation showed that Luminos Fund students in Liberia went from reading five words per minute to 39 words per minute at the end of the 10-month programme.

Emmanuel,  featured on our Christmas card shown above, is one of Luminos Fund’s class facilitators in Liberia.  The country’s fourteen-year civil war prevented Emmanuel from attending school. At age 16, Emmanuel bravely became a student in the village kindergarten. Through hard work and perseverance, he graduated at age 27.  Today, Emmanuel provides education, joy and confidence to children in his community.  It’s an honour to work with you, Emmanuel.


The END Fund’s Ellen Agler touted as one of the top 50 greatest leaders in the world

A huge congratulations to the END Fund’s CEO,  Ellen Agler, who has been named as one of Fortune Magazine’s World’s Greatest Leaders. In addition to this prestigious accolade, Ellen published her first book, ‘Under the Big Tree’, earlier this year highlighting the successes and challenges of those fighting to eliminate Neglected Tropical Diseases.

Not only was the END Fund chosen as one of eight projects that will be supported by The Audacious Project,  two-time Pulitzer Prize winner,  Nicholas Kristof,  has also recognised the END Fund’s work in his annual “holiday gift guide” in the New York Times.  He writes that giving to the END Fund is “one of the highest-return investments available”.  We agree!  And we can proudly report that, with the help of a community of partners and donors, the END Fund has issued more than 724 million treatments around the world.


The Legatum Institute finds that global prosperity continues to improve and has hit its highest level ever

The Legatum Institute released its 13th edition of the Legatum Prosperity Index! Following some great interest from the media, including in the  Financial Times,  Arthur C. Brooks, Washington Post columnist - and newest member of the Institute’s Board of Trustees, writes in his regular column that the Index provides fresh, comprehensive evidence of progress that the world is doing much better than some of the news makes us think.  Thank you,  Arthur.  And long may it continue.

Earlier in the year,  the Institute also went on to launch the first editions of the Global Index of Economic Openness and the United States Prosperity Index to much fanfare.

And just when we thought the news couldn’t get better, the Institute learned that the UK government has taken steps towards adopting the Social Metrics Commission’s poverty metric as its official measure of poverty in the UK.  What a great year for the Institute.


The Freedom Fund succeeds in drastically reducing bonded labour from 56% to 11% across their northern and southern India programmes

An external evaluation has confirmed that the Freedom Fund’s model of community-based interventions are ending bonded labour in India.  These findings were highlighted in the New York Times by Nicholas Kristof who referred to the report as “evidence of what works”.

Veena, featured on our Christmas card, is an incredible example of these efforts. Many families in Veena’s village in northern India were trapped in debt bondage to a brick kiln owner.  With the support of Freedom Fund partner Nirdesh,  Veena learnt about the issues that kept their families in bondage.  Through perseverance,  Veena and several other women finally got the kiln owner to agree to release them, freeing 37 women and their families. Today,  Veena is a leader in her community.

We’re very proud of the amazing work that the Fund is doing to end modern slavery, not to mention the courageous efforts of people like Veena.


Legatum Center Fellows plan to change the lives of Africa’s next billion through their business startup

In addition to welcoming Dina Sherif as its new Executive Director, the Legatum Center at MIT ushered in its twelfth cohort of Fellows, totalling 316 since 2007.  We believe these young entrepreneurs are critical to advancing economic and social progress in the developing world.

Genevieve and Soga, featured on our Christmas card, both served as Fellows at the Center and have a mission to provide convenient, affordable, and high-quality diagnostics and primary care for Africa’s next billion with their startup MDaaS Global. Good luck to the MDaaS team!


And finally, introducing the newest members of the Legatum network, Rui and Jennifer of That Spark

Earlier this year, Gao Rui and Jennifer Brady launched That Spark, a new learning platform that creates expert content and learning experiences for China’s changemakers with the aim of helping them solve the challenges of their generation.  We’re very excited by their work in shaping China’s social impact sector and appreciate their valuable contribution towards creating a more prosperous world.  Watch this space!