Our Story


It all started...

In 2006 No Means No Worldwide (NMNW), Founder Lee Paiva was walking through Korogocho slum in Nairobi, Kenya to check on a microloan businesses.  Her translator began whispering about the people and shacks they passed. “This girl was raped at knife point, this child is a rape baby, this girl is HIV-positive from rape by her father, this is where a grandmother died after being gang-raped, this woman’s baby was raped...” Lee felt she had entered a nightmare world. A baby raped? A grandmother?

It sounded as if every female there had been sexually assaulted. The translator shrugged as if to say, “It is what it is.”

This experience struck a personal chord for Lee, and she immediately set to prove that “it” was a rights atrocity and result of egregious gender-related power imbalances. She further set out to show that  that an education curriculum rooted in individual rights and  empowerment self-defense skills, like the one she had which experienced in the United States, could be transferred to slum environments.

In October 2009, Lee started building NMNW, by designing and piloting a violence prevention and intervention system called IMpower. She worked closely with educational and academic experts across the globe to design curricula and training materials. The aim was to stop the cycle of violence by educating girls and boys to create gender equity for community-wide, generational change.

In 2011, Lee began training instructors to deliver IMpower programming. In 2012 she teamed up with the Kenyan nonprofit Ujamaa to  launch classes and gather data for impact evaluation. This effort led to the formation of the Gender Based Violence Prevention Collaborative in partnership with Stanford University. The Collective produced five scientific articles published in major international journals about the impact of NMNW’s work.

IMpower is now a leading dual gender violence prevention curriculum for youth. The male and female IMpower Instructors trained since launching NMNW have taught over 180,000 girls and boys in Kenya and Malawi. In addition to pioneering cutting-edge prevention interventions, NMNW created a 12 Step recovery program for survivors called Sexual Assault Survivors Anonymous (SASA). These meetings are held across Nairobi and provide long-term steps to recovery free of charge.

In 2015, after 3 years of testing its program in Kenya, NMNW was ready to achieve transformative scale in preventing gender-based violence by becoming a best practice global training academy and technical assistance provider. NMNW’s technical assistance approach is to provide comprehensive support to existing local implementing partner organizations like Ujamaa, so the partners can deliver and evaluate high quality rape prevention programming across the globe.

To bring an end to the global rape epidemic, NMNW believes that education and training is central to prevention and that the decades-long focus on costly, reactive aftercare must end. NMNW has a measurable and proven model that has been verified as primary prevention to stop sexual harassment, assault and rape. Now, NMNW’s job is to spread that model as widely and as quickly as possible.


“What No Means No Worldwide is proving through its sexual assault intervention is that you don’t need to build 142 police stations, like they did in Tanzania, for millions of dollars. What you need to do is build training capacity in human beings and then train kids to use what’s already within themselves.”

—Catherine Maternowska,
Child protection specialist, Unicef Office of Research-Innocenti

LEE PAIVa - Founder and CEO

Lee Paiva is founder and CEO of No Means No Worldwide and creator of IMpower, a dual-gender violence prevention and intervention program. Since 2007, she has implemented her program in the six largest slums of Nairobi, Kenya. In 2013, she partnered with researchers at Stanford University to form the GBV Prevention Collaborative, which led to her co-authorship of five peer-reviewed articles about the efficacy of IMpower classes in cutting rape and pregnancy-related school dropout by 50%. She also founded Sexual Assault Survivors Anonymous for survivors ages 5 and up. She is a Mulago Rainer Arnhold Fellow and her work has been featured on CNN, MSNBC, FOX, and ESPN, among others. She lives in San Francisco, California.




Katherine Daiss – Development and Partnerships Manager

Katherine Daiss runs NMNW’s Development and Partnerships. She has driven the growth of NMNW’s global presence by building relationships with new donors and enabling partners. Prior to NMNW she worked in South Africa developing GBV and HIV prevention curriculum and training. Her business expertise stems from leadership consulting for Fortune 500 companies across North America, Europe and Asia.


Leah Krumpholz - Business Development

Leah is a resourceful international development professional with more than 12 years of global field experience. Having lived in Southern Africa for many years, Leah works fluidly across different cultures and builds strong relationships based on friendship, trust, and mutual respect. With a comprehensive understanding of non-profit management, she provides technical support to help organizations define their unique growth strategy, build streamlined operational structures, expand their partner and donor networks, and achieve sustainable social impact.

Having raised more than $20 million for youth-focused develop-ment initiatives worldwide, Leah is accomplished at both fundraising as well as managing awards to success. She is the co-founder of Groundswell Education, a global consulting group that is proud to work deeply with NMNW.



  • Carol Lloyd

Vice President, Editorial Director for GreatSchools, and award-winning journalist and author. Her writing appears in The New York Times Magazine, This American Life, Los Angeles Times,  San Francisco Chronicle and Salon.com as well as being featured on NPR’s Talk of the Nation, and PRI’s The World.

  • Vida Sanford

San Francisco-based social worker and educator who has pioneered successful school-based mentoring programs and innovative research projects for the San Francisco Unified School District.

  • David Lisak

Clinical psychologist, researcher on rape and homicide, international forensic consultant, Founder, Bristlecone Project and Founding Board Member of 1in6.

  • Jennifer Keller

Ph.D., Clinical Associate Professor, Stanford University School of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences.

  • Maggie Law

Software Designer, team leader, and mentor who is excited to work for community-level efforts to improve the lives of women and children at massive scale.


  • Mary Catherine Maternowska

UNICEF Office of Research Innocenti


Founder and CEO Edgework Consulting


Founder Grassroots Soccer


UNICEF, Child Protection Specialist


Consultant, HowManly.com, MIT


Founder CEDOVIP, Uganda


Adolescent Health Advisor JHPIEGO, USA /  Kenya


Writer and Director of Beauty Bites Beast book, movie

  • Emily Scott

Philanthropic Director, The Resiliency Fund Guide/Facilitator, ES -The Power of And