• 1995

    Ellie Maxwell first visits Bosnia and sets up a project for children in Mostar. She continues as an aid worker in Bosnia alongside studying at Edinburgh University over the following three years. She came to believe that shared creative activities for children from different groups and contact with the outside world play an important part in reducing tensions linked to sectarian violence.

  • 1998

    Ellie Maxwell founded Firefly Youth Project in Brcko. She started working with Gordana Varcakovic.

  • 1999

    Firefly Youth Project registered as a charity

  • Bosnia Svitac kids painting 2015


    Firefly Youth Project in Brcko became Svitac (Bosnian for "Firefly", pronounced "Sveetatz") locally managed and registered in Bosnia-Herzegovina, under the leadership of Gordana.

  • Ellie Maxwell Pic


    Ellie Maxwell dies at the age of 32 of cancer.

  • 2010

    Dan Gorman, who had worked with Ellie at Firefly for many years, becomes director. Claire Le Gouellec becomes administrator and Ben Courtney becomes chair of trustees.

  • 2011

    Firefly starts to fundraise to support children impacted by the Syrian war.

    The Ellie Maxwell Centre opens a permanent space for Svitac.


  • 2013

    Firefly partners with Project Hope in Nablus, Palestine. Jeremy Wildeman, who co-founded Project Hope, becomes the director of Firefly.

  • 2014

    Firefly International becomes a Scottish registered charity SC with an office in Edinburgh.


    Margot Wilson becomes a trustee and Victoria Crawley becomes our administrator and sets up our office in Edinburgh.

  • 2016

    Firefly for Syrians project set up in Antakya by Fadia Shaker, supported by Maria Chambers.

  • 2018

    Diana McMicking becomes director of Firefly.


    Firefly for Syrians starts outreach work with children in Northern Syria.


    Svitac celebrates 20 years of working with children in Brcko.

  • 2019

    Ellie Maxwell Award launched at Edinburgh University.


    Firefly in Gaza partnered with ACT International and IMET 2000.