Jonathan and Julie Baker founded Firefly as a 501 (c)(3) charitable organization in 2000 with a focus on keeping children with disabilities or from disadvantaged situations in families instead of institutions. From its inception Firefly has had two primary goals:
- Education and Training: disseminating international best practices in healthcare, special education, and social services, and supporting dedicated Russians as they lead reform in their own country
- Prevention of Institutionalization: keeping children in birth, foster or adoptive families and out of institutions by helping Russian child welfare practitioners develop support services for children and families
By providing technical assistance and progressive training based on international best practices, Firefly assists local champions who are eager to create a nation without orphanages.
2000: Firefly is formed as a 501(c)(3) charitable organization.
2001: Volunteer medical team travels to Russia to collect data for core programs.
2002: Firefly hosts International Pediatric Rehabilitation Conference in Moscow for 171 participants representing over 5,000 children, with 35 doctors and therapists speaking and training.
2003-04: Firefly develops relationship with Tatarstan Republic and conducts several medical training trips in partnership with the University of New Mexico.
2005-07: Firefly develops early intervention training program in Vladivostok in partnership with the University of New Mexico.
2006: Representatives from Tartarstan’s Ministries of Health, Education and Social Welfare visit Firefly in Washington, DC, resulting in an agreement to collaborate on early intervention training.
2007-09: Firefly conducts its early intervention training program in Kazan, Tatarstan.
2009: Firefly and KPMG begin “From Institutional Care to Family Support” project in Nizhny Novgorod.
2011: “From Institutional Care to Family Support” wins first place for best project in “Developing Local Communities” category in Russia-wide competition sponsored by the Managers’ Association of Russia.