Empowering Grassroots Leaders for Sustainable Development: Our Founder Advisory Board

Our Founder Advisory Board: Empowering Grassroots Leaders for Sustainable Development

Our Founder Advisory Board: Empowering Grassroots Leaders for Sustainable Development

Grassroots organizations, including NGOs and CBOs, play a vital role in addressing a wide range of local challenges, from poverty alleviation to healthcare access and education. At Lightup Impact, we collaborate closely with young grassroots leaders across Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, and Tanzania to enhance their impact and promote sustainable development within their communities. Beyond boosting visibility, we provide opportunities for networking, skills development, and capacity building. We co-create and co-deliver tailored programs with grassroots members, ensuring their needs are met now and in the future. 


In line with our commitment to community-driven approaches, we have established our first youth-led Founder Advisory Board (FAB), an initiative that will amplify grassroots voices in our community and prioritize youth empowerment, ushering in a new era of influence and inclusivity.

Why a Founder Advisory Board?

Grassroots founders have a deep understanding of their communities. The FAB will act as a liaison between Lightup Impact and the local community. Drawing from their experiences and interactions, FAB members provide:


  • Representation: The FAB brings diverse perspectives and experiences of grassroots founders to the forefront. Their voices represent the lived realities, challenges, and aspirations of the communities we serve.


  • Inclusive decision-making: Integrating grassroots leaders into decision-making processes ensures that strategies and initiatives are rooted in the context of the communities we aim to impact. This fosters a more inclusive and effective approach to our mission.


  • Youth empowerment: By establishing the FAB (comprised of eight passionate, young leaders), we are taking one step closer to shifting the power to the youth, which was a key part of our discussions at our Lightup Impact Days 2023 conference and one of Lightup Impact’s primary goals.


  • Community-centric advocacy: Grassroots founders understand the pulse of their communities. The FAB acts as a bridge between Lightup Impact and the grassroots, ensuring that our initiatives align with the genuine needs and concerns of the people we serve.


  • Value to the Lightup Impact Community: By tapping into the wisdom and insights of grassroots leaders, the FAB will provide strategic guidance, promote inclusivity, and ensure that community decisions are informed by diverse perspectives.

Our Founder Advisory Board - 2024

We are thrilled to announce the inaugural members of our Founder Advisory Board (FAB) at Lightup Impact!


Brenda Founder Advisory Board at Lightup Impact

Brenda Alwanyi (Director and Founder of MY BODY MY BODY) is a compassionate gender and development enthusiast, sexual reproductive health and rights advocate, and sociologist. She is currently pursuing her Master’s degree in Gender and Development from Kenyatta University. As a FAB member, she is eager to leverage her network and expertise to facilitate and strengthen these partnerships, ultimately advancing our collective efforts to empower grassroots leaders and address pressing social issues in East Africa.

Salim Founder Advisory Board at Lightup Impact

Salim Ali Mazang’ang’a (Co-founder and Director of Path Youth Organization) is committed to advancing the well-being of youth and vulnerable groups. With over eight years of experience in program management, consortium leadership, and youth-focused interventions, Salim is a seasoned professional dedicated to driving positive social change and promoting the well-being and empowerment of youth and vulnerable groups. As a FAB member, he is eager to collaborate with fellow grassroots leaders to co-create programs and events that address the emerging needs of our communities.

Jacqueline Founder Advisory Board at Lightup Impact

Jacqueline Marwa (Founder of Forever Africa Dada Power) is passionate about empowering adolescent girls and young women. She is an experienced program manager and committed volunteer seeking opportunities to leverage skills and experiences to make meaningful contributions to community development and social change. As a FAB member, she is committed to leveraging her first-hand experiences and insights to inform strategic decisions and initiatives aimed at advancing the mission and vision of Lightup Impact.

Rogers Founder Advisory Board at Lightup Impact

Rogers Omollo (Founder of Activate Action) is committed to empowering young individuals with HIV and disabilities. Beyond his work at Activate Action, Rogers holds impactful leadership positions, where he advocates for sustainable development and poverty eradication and drives initiatives to create awareness and drive the prevention of HIV among young people. As a FAB member, he will work to ensure that grassroots leaders’ concerns, insights, and needs are actively considered and championed during our discussions and actions.


Dricile Founder Advisory Board at Lightup Impact

Dricile Godfrey (Executive Director of Community Empowerment for Transformation Action West Nile [CEFTRA-WN]) is committed to community development and is a self-motivated advocate for women’s and girls’ rights. Dricile holds a postgraduate Diploma in Public Administration and holds positions in prominent networks and committees, including the position of Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors at West Nile Civil Society Network (WECISNET) and the General Secretary of the Steering Committee at the Movement for Community-Led Development – Uganda Chapter (MCLD-Uganda). As a FAB member, he is deeply committed to supporting the growth and development of early-stage ventures and fostering a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship.

Harriet Founder Advisory Board at Lightup Impact

Harriet Kamashanyu (Founder of Rhythm of Life) is committed to the empowerment of girls and women with a focus on education, health, human rights advocacy, modern farming, and economic empowerment. Currently, she is pursuing a Master’s program in International Relations and Diplomatic Studies at Makerere University and volunteers as a coordinating ambassador at One Young World (OYW) East Africa – a global community of young leaders with a mission of empowering and developing young leaders to build a fair, sustainable future for all. As a FAB member, she will support the voicing of the community, influencing programs and collaborating on key issues within and outside the Lightup impact community.


Marcelina Founder Advisory Board at Lightup Impact

Marcelina Biro (Founder of Kijana Jasiri-Resilience Organization) is passionate about enhancing children’s and youth’s well-being. Marcelina is a social scientist with a PhD from the University of Dar es Salaam focusing on interventions enhancing youth wellbeing. She is an experienced board member with more than 15 years of experience in the Development, Diplomatic, and Humanitarian sectors. As a FAB member, she is eager to utilize her skills and experience, which include fundraising, policy engagement and influence, close collaboration with management teams, insights on programs, and overall strategic relations, to propel the Lightup Impact Community to new heights.


Noel Founder Advisory Board at Lightup Impact

Noel Mushinzimana (Founder of Nursing Research Club) is passionate about empowering youth and children by promoting education, health, and well-being. He holds a Bachelor with Honors in General Nursing from the College of Medicine and Health Sciences at the University of Rwanda. Noel serves as the Director in charge of Partnerships and Resource Mobilization at We Got Your Back NGO in Rwanda. As a FAB member, Noel is particularly enthusiastic about leveraging his expertise to mobilize more organizations in Rwanda to join the Lightup Impact Community and actively participate in fundraising efforts.

Each member brings a wealth of experience and expertise to the table, and we are confident in their ability to steer our community towards greater heights.

How was the FAB elected?

Eligible candidates were invited to submit applications detailing their background, expertise, and vision for the community.


We received 24 applications, 20 of which proceeded to the voting stage.


Voting was open for one week, where each member would cast one vote per candidate for every country. The candidates used our community channels to campaign and rally for votes.


The next step was to tally and validate the 142 votes received. Finally, the newly elected FAB members were announced to the Lightup community through internal channels. 

We would like to express our gratitude to all the candidates who applied and the community members who participated in the FAB election. 


It’s worth noting that the FAB term lasts for two years, which means that other Lightup Impact members will have more opportunities to participate in the future. 


We admire and appreciate every applicant’s willingness to serve on the FAB and contribute to Lightup Impact’s and our community’s progress. As we move forward, we anticipate the transformative power that the FAB will bring to our collective mission. 


We are thankful for the support and engagement of our community members and eagerly look forward to the positive impact we will achieve together.


The Lightup Impact Team

About the Blog

The Lightup Impact blogs cover compelling and valuable topics relevant to its members, partners, investors, and anyone with an interest in the work of grassroots social organizations active in women’s health and gender equality in East Africa.


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Empowering Grassroots Leaders for Sustainable Development: Our Founder Advisory Board

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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