Lightup Impact is a movement of over 100 young grassroots leaders across East Africa advocating for equality in health, gender, and opportunities. We foster unity and collaboration to transform the lives of vulnerable communities for a more equitable world.


We envision a society where grassroots organizations are empowered and sustainable


To create a mindset shift towards collaboration and empower early-stage grassroots organizations in gender & health in East Africa with know-how and guidance to become sustainable and increase their visibility and impact


Empathic leadership

Passion for social impact

Courage and can-do attitude

Collaboration over competition

The Challenge

Community-based organizations (CBOs) are locally led, non-profit organizations that create local initiatives and programs to solve problems at the community level. They play a crucial role in promoting rural and urban development to tackle poverty; access to healthcare,  and water; and education through locally-led programs.


There are around 57 thousand registered CBOs in Kenya and even more across the whole of East Africa. Nevertheless, CBOs are often not acknowledged due to a lack of integration into national and regional development policies and a lack of support networks and credibility to secure seed funding.


 Through networking and training, CBOs can leverage collaboration with other development actors and be strategically positioned to tackle community problems and ensure their own survival.


After conducting two focus groups with 27 founders of CBOs and NGOs in gender and health in Kenya and Rwanda, we identified the following: early-stage grassroots organizations lack the experience, know-how, and support network needed to secure sustainable resources and influence their local political landscape to enable structural change in East Africa.

Our Approach

At Lightup Impact, we work with our grassroots members to generate and implement evidence-based solutions to increase the impact and sustainable development of their organizations.


We shift the power to young visionary leaders across Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, and Tanzania and support them with networking, trust-based partnerships, skills development, and guidance to increase their visibility and long-term success.


Learn more about our unique approach below:

Our Team

Valeria, PhD

Valeria, PhD

Founder & Director


PR & Strategic Partnerships Manager


Community & Social Media Manager
Nicole, PhD

Nicole, PhD

Content Editor


Communications Officer


Legal Advisor



Join Our Community!

We increase the visibility and impact of grassroots organizations with a focus on women’s health and gender equality in East Africa. 


If you’re a grassroots leader interested in joining our community, we’d love to hear from you!


Lightup Impact Community

Have a question?​

For all inquiries regarding the Lightup Impact Days 2023,
please contact us at:

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We increase the visibility and impact of social organizations with a focus on women’s health and gender equality in Kenya. We support the growth of our founders through tailored mentoring and networking opportunities