Photo by  Annie Spratt  on  Unsplash

A short story of why we we’re here 


It all started when…

Back in 2015, I spent nine months volunteering with a range of not-for-profits across the world, from India to Tanzania.

During that time, I saw the underbelly of voluntourism and some weird dynamics at play in the broader international aid sector.

I also realised the stories that I’d been told about these places growing up didn’t match the reality on the ground. Instead of the expected chaos and disaster, I found happy and healthy people that I had an incredible amount in common with.

So I decided to make the books I wished I’d had growing up. Books that tell the story of what it’s really like to grow up in faraway places, as told by people who actually live there.

The added benefit is that profits from the books will go back into the communities where the stories are from, supporting local change-makers who know what’s needed and what works - instead of Western aid agencies which don’t always get it right.

As the series of books grow, so will the diversity of voices and perspectives available to a new generation of children, along with sustainable revenue for good work around the world. The aim is to have at least one book for all 192 countries, and perhaps, one day, every city in the world - there’s 4,416 of those.

Right now, it’s just me and some incredible freelancers working on this, but I have too big a vision and too much energy to let it stay that way for long. As the name (Small Fires) alludes to, I intend to start small but spark big things.

I’d love you to join me!

- Grace O’Hara (Chief Instigator and Founder)


Core values

  • Do No Harm

  • Assume Goodwill

  • Humans First

  • Share Power

  • Be Accountable

  • Things Worth It

Stories Underway

  • Book One - Kenya

  • Book Two - Mexico

  • Book Three - Bangladesh

Grace O'Hara