Empowering people, changing lives


About Us

Meet Marie!

She is one of our friends in Burkina Faso.

We love letting people know they are important and making them feel valued!  Marie was never allowed to go to school or learn a trade because she was born a “little person” and considered different in her culture.  She is sweet, smart and determined to do something positive with her life!  Lighting the Path was able to bless her with a special sewing machine and teach her how to sew.  She now has a business, her own small hut and earns an income to support herself!  She has been empowered to take control of her life and take care of herself.  The joy and self confidence which beams from her now is amazing!

We create sustainable solutions to alleviate poverty and enrich lives.


Lighting the Path believes every person should be honored for their value and given a chance to improve their own lives.  Poverty is one of the biggest barriers to gaining an education, having good health, and successfully using opportunities in life. Educating, training, offering supplies, and micro-finance are the strongest ways to economically empower marginalized populations.   Important steps in providing an effective solution which will benefit individuals for a lifetime is first to listen to what they need; then research the available resources, evaluate the skills and demand.  With the focus on these things, develop empowerment programs to teach these individuals how to use their skills to start a small income generating sustainable enterprise along with valuable  business skills. All this is done while maintaining self reliance, cultural diversity and dignity.  Our multifaceted approach has successfully empowered and insured financial stability of hundreds of individuals, families, and communities in multiple countries.   We encourage those we have worked with to then help others.

Empowering individuals

with powerful and sustainable solutions and skills to help them to become more self-reliant.

Helping people

meeting basic needs and improve living conditions.

Providing resources

to learn skills and improve opportunities to prosper while instilling self-confidence and hope .

showing love

in all that we do and everywhere we go, encouraging others to learn and follow the gospel.

Making an effort

to assist those who are in need , but lack resources.

supporting the overlooked

to meet needs, inspire self worth and give them a future


The CEO and founder of Lighting The Path is Dawn Malcolm, a successful photography and graphic design business owner with experience in the handmade and creative goods market.  She has a background that includes two Bachelor of Arts degrees and  experience in job and skills training and working with the disabled through employment at Life Skills Vocational Training Center and the Missouri Department of Disability Determinations.  Dawn has volunteered with the national Girl Scout organization for over 16 years training and coordinating volunteers, developing and implementing programs, planning social and training events and working with adults and girls of all ages and backgrounds.  She is an active volunteer at local schools and in her community working with Operation Food Search, Room at the Inn Shelter, Circle of Concern food pantry and other community charities.  She does mission work to help those in need worldwide.

“Working with missionaries in West Africa was supposed to be a short-term commitment, but it opened doors to a life purpose and passion of empowering others and ending poverty. I’m so fortunate to be able to impact lives, empower those in need and show them the love of Christ, all while partnering with some of the most passionate and driven people on the globe.” – Dawn Malcolm

Meet Our Board

DAWN MALCOLM – Lighting the Path Founder, CEO and Project Developer and Director

SUSAN SCHLUETER – Vocational Program Specialist

KAREN ROBINSON MOORE – Grant Researcher, Project Resource and Facility Specialist

REBECCA JO SHEPHERD –  Accounting Director/Treasurer

BARBARA RUIZ –  Secretary

CHERYL ASTON – Volunteer Coordinator

The Board of Directors of Lighting the Path Enterprises take seriously the responsibility that is placed on us to be transparent and accountable in all of our dealings. It is vitally important that our supporters, donors, partners and the communities with whom we work have the utmost confidence in everything we do.

This is why we have put in place systems of governance, accountability and transparency,  Our organization has a zero tolerance approach to any form of corruption, fraud or wrongdoing and will be diligent in our efforts to aid others and will pursue any of these issues thoroughly, if ever suspected.

We provide sustainable solutions to marginalized populations.

Lighting the Path works with mission and outreach organizations to identify impoverished areas and disadvantaged people who would benefit and are open to assistance.  After researching the best options to meet nutrition, health and education needs, we help groups and individuals improve or start their own enterprise and production of marketable products.   Our efforts show these people they are valued and we care.

Maintaining respect for cultural and social practices and maintaining the dignity of the individual is a priority.  Once people are able to meet their own needs and improve their families standard of living, they are able to teach others and this increases the effectiveness of our efforts and expands the mission.

Our mission is to end extreme poverty.

Lighting the Path’s mission aligns with the United Nations Millennium Development Goal. Through our work, we help families increase income, improve nutrition, receive education and have greater access to healthcare.  We are all unified in the purpose of answering God’s call to take the Gospel to the nations (Matthew 28:18-20).  We work with all villages and people who are in need and continue reaching out to populations who have not heard God’s word.

Lighting the Path partners with L’Association Namenegzbanga (Aid for all),  Les Ailes de Refuge (Sheltering Wings), and a number of missionaries in Burkina Faso, West Africa, Uganda and Malawi.  We have local empowerment projects in St. Louis, Missouri focused on the empowerment of marginalized, refugee and immigrant women and are working on opening a community center to serve the region.


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