No Means No Worldwide (NMNW) is a global rape prevention organization whose mission is to end sexual violence against women and children. We train instructors in high-risk environments to deliver our proven IMpower rape prevention curricula to boys and girls ages 10-20. Wherever we teach, the incidence of rape drops by 50%. Girls learn to identify risk, say “no” and talk their way out of trouble. If that “no” is not respected, they also learn physical skills to back it up. Boys learn to challenge rape myths, ask for consent and intervene if they anticipate or witness predatory behavior. 

The Need

Globally, an estimated 35% of women experience some form of sexual violence in their lifetime. In Africa, that percentage increases to 45%. According to the UN Population Fund, almost 50% of all sexual assault victims are girls age 15 or younger. In the slums of Nairobi, where our programming started, 1 in 4 girls are raped every year. To a global community in need of a truly effective solution to gender based violence, NMNW is uniquely qualified to lead the effort.

Service Delivery

NMNW’s technical work includes training and certifying local male and female instructors to deliver the IMpower curricula and supporting them to monitor and evaluate our intervention and its implementation. We hold implementing partners to high performance standards, to ensure curricula fidelity and program efficacy.

Impact Highlights

NMNW has rigorously evaluated its program: our research partners have published four quasi-experimental studies and one randomized control trial (RCT) in peer-reviewed journals, with one RCT currently under analysis and another under review. Key findings include:

  • 50% decrease in the incidence of rape among female participants
  • 50% of female participants used program skills to stop a rapist in the year following the training, and 20% used the skills more than once
  • 74% of boys who witnessed physical or sexually assaultive behavior in the year following the program successfully intervened to stop it
  • 46% decrease in school dropouts due to teen pregnancy among schools where we teach

Impact Footprint

  • Programs through Ujamaa Africa in urban Kenya (since 2009) & rural Malawi   (since 2015)
  • More than 180,000 girls and boys aged 10-20 taught IMpower skills
  • At least 300,000 sexual assaults prevented
  • $7.44 to prevent a rape


It all started...

In 2006, No Means No Worldwide Founder Lee Paiva was walking through the Korogocho slum in Nairobi, Kenya to check on a microloan business. 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. 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 in Lee, and she immediately set out to prove that “it” was a rights atrocity and the result of egregious gender-related power imbalances. She further sought to show that an education curriculum rooted in individual rights and  empowerment self-defense skills, similar to the one she had practiced in the United States, could be transferred to slum environments.

In October 2009, Lee started building No Means No Worldwide 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 collaborative 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 three 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.

To bring an end to the global rape epidemic, NMNW believes that education and training are 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 & 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. Lee lives in Rhode Island and wherever the work takes her.


Makaria Reynolds – Managing Director

Makaria Reynolds is responsible for leading NMNW's operations, strategy execution, performance management, and development and organizational growth, in support of the Founder/CEO. She has 15+ years of experience working across a variety of development sectors, most recently leading a multi-country technical assistance program at the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation. Makaria has a proven track record managing complex international development projects in the fields of HIV/AIDS, maternal and child health, and reproductive health. She is skilled at developing and managing effective partnerships with donor agencies including CDC, USAID, UNICEF and private foundations, and has significant experience managing multi-million dollar grant awards to success. Makaria holds a Masters Degree in International Affairs from Columbia University, with a specialization in Complex Humanitarian Emergencies.

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Leah Dozier Krumpholz – Director of Programs

Leah has nearly 15 years of experience designing, managing and evaluating youth empowerment and development initiatives across the globe. 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. She has a comprehensive understanding of non-profit management, and has helped NMNW define a unique growth strategy, build streamlined operational structures, expand partner and donor networks, and design sustainable social impact programs. Having raised more than $22 million for youth-focused development initiatives worldwide, Leah is accomplished at both fundraising as well as managing awards to success. She is also the co-Founder of Groundswell Education, a global consulting group that has been working deeply with NMNW since 2015.


Kidist Teferi – Special Operations Coordinator

Kidist Teferi is the Special Operations Coordinator at No Means No Worldwide. Kidist brings almost 10 years of experience in event management, administration, logistics and customer service with knowledge of the day to day operations of a non-profit organization. Kidist recently worked at a sexual assault prevention organization that sought to mobilize men to use their strength for creating cultures free from violence against women. She also worked on the Hill as a Congressional Intern focusing on Foreign Relations issues. Originally from Ethiopia, Kidist is passionate about ending sexual violence against women in Africa and all over the world.


Kirk Friedrich – Strategic Development

Kirk Friedrich is a social entrepreneur and non-profit executive who previously served as a co-founder and Executive Director of the award winning global adolescent health NGO, Grassroot Soccer. Kirk helped to lead Grassroot Soccer over a 16-year period from startup to scale, providing comprehensive health education for more than 2 million young people in 50 countries. Kirk has been a vanguard in the field of sport-based positive youth development, and is passionate about helping organizations develop their technical and operational skills to improve the lives of young people worldwide.  Kirk serves as the Board Chair for Young 1ove in Botswana and is Founder and Executive Director of Safe Roots Foundation.


Marissa Strniste – Monitoring & Evaluations Manager

Marissa Strniste is responsible for managing Monitoring & Evaluation operations at No Means No Worldwide. With over 10 years of experience in international development, she has directed participatory Monitoring & Evaluation programs for 5 years. Marissa has expertise in expanding the ability of organizations to identify and collect relevant data, evaluate impact, synthesize insights, and facilitate learning. She has worked across sectors with community-based, mission-driven organizations that focus on women's empowerment. Marissa is a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer, serving in both Paraguay and Costa Rica. She holds a Masters in Public Administration in Development Practice from Columbia University and speaks Spanish, French, and Guaraní.


Nicholas McGinty – Male Curriculum and Training Manager

Nicholas McGinty is the Male Curriculum and Training Manager for No Means No Worldwide (NWNW). In this role, he provides training and technical assistance to partner programs across the country. Nick brings experience as a direct-practice social worker and over a decade of experience in youth engagement and education programs. In addition to his background in working with youth, Nick has served as community organizer and trainer for low-income communities, a tenant rights advocate, and a union representative. Originally from Louisville, Kentucky, he holds a B.A. in Psychology from UNCA and a Masters in Social Work and a Juris Doctorate from Case Western Reserve University. Nick and his wife are currently discovering the joys of expanding the garden, planting new flowers in the yard and figuring out how many bird feeders the yard can sustain. Nick can often be found with a graphic novel nearby, checking for new recipes, attending concerts, and trying to find the next meal that is dream worthy.


Ramatou Hassane - Finance and Grants Director

Ramatou brings 12 years of financial management experience in the nonprofit sector. She spent 7 years at IMA World Health where her most recent role, as a senior risk management advisor, involved assessing and strengthening country offices financial and operational controls. Ramatou holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Accounting from University of Maryland University College and a Masters of Business Administration from Mount St. Mary's University in Maryland. Originally from Niger, West Africa, Ramatou developed a passion for work that positively impacts people lives from a very young age. She is fluent in French, Hausa, and Zarma.

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Aastha Dua -  Global Master Trainer

Aastha holds an International Law degree from the UN-mandated University for Peace in Costa Rica. A human rights lawyer from India, Aastha is devoted to protecting women’s and children’s rights around the world. After beginning her career in corporate law, Aastha decided to transition into human rights law and since then has been part of research studies concerning low-budget private schools in India, trans-Atlantic migrants in Costa Rica and an evaluation of the Indian educational curriculum. Aastha is thrilled to be a part of and to contribute to NMNW’s mission!


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Esty Pittman - Global Master Trainer

Esty Pittman holds a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations from Oral Roberts University, where her studies focused on gender issues and conflict resolution. Esty has a proud background of working with inner-city children, at-risk youth, and teenage girls through various ministries in her home state of Illinois. Esty is fiercely passionate about gender equality and is committed to a life of empowering youth to change the world. Esty is excited to begin her career with NMNW to empower and educate girls and boys to ensure a future free from violence.


Katie Bradley - Global Master Trainer

Katie Bradley earned a bachelors degree in Psychology and Human and Social Development from the University of Miami. She began her youth development career as an AmeriCorps volunteer with City Year Miami where she tutored and mentored high school students in an under-resourced community. She then served in the Peace Corps as a high school math teacher in Mozambique. Inspired by the resiliency and strength of her female students, she became involved in gender equality activities including the formation of girl empowerment clubs and the organization of a violence prevention training for teachers. She is passionate about youth empowerment and looks forward to promoting a violence free future with the NMNW team!


Deryn Fink - Global Master Trainer

Deryn received her B.A. in Anthropology from West Chester University of Pennsylvania, where she focused on archaeological policy and advocacy. Soon after graduation, she joined the Peace Corps as an education volunteer in The Gambia, West Africa. There, she worked as a Teacher Trainer, where she partnered with local teachers to implement important tools, such as classroom management skills, in order to improve student achievement in the school. It was during her service that she experienced first-hand the overwhelming effects of gender inequality. She, in turn, partnered with women in her community and worked on multiple projects centered around empowering women and girls, specifically in the school. Deryn is deeply passionate about girls’ education and is committed to NMNW’s mission of ending sexual violence against women and children.


Annie Jones - Global Master Trainer

Annie Jones holds bachelor’s degrees in Political Science and Sociology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Throughout her time at UIUC, she worked with the Women’s Resources Center to teach incoming students about sexual assault prevention on campus. This passion for ending gender-based violence led her to join the Peace Corps in Ethiopia. During her time in Ethiopia, she facilitated workshops about sexual violence, reproductive health, and challenging gender norms. She is determined to live in a world without sexual assault, and is beyond excited work with NMNW to make that a reality!


Sierra Mead - Global Master Trainer

Sierra Mead holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Women's Studies from George Washington University. While studying at George Washington, Sierra spent two years abroad in South Africa working at a NGO for women with HIV/AIDS. Her experience in South Africa moved her to join the Peace Corps where she served as a Community Health and Malaria Prevention Volunteer in Togo, West Africa. In Togo, Sierra focused her projects on helping women access family planning and teaching women and girls about sexual and reproductive health. She is passionate about increasing women's advocacy and ending gender-based violence through targeted behavior change and education.


Bek Condello - Global Master Trainer

Bek Condello has been working as a Social Worker with homeless and at risk young people in Australia for a number of years. Specifically Bek has worked within shelters housing young girls and women who have experienced domestic and family violence. In 2019 Bek moved to South Africa to volunteer with Surfers Not Street Children, supporting children who are either sleeping on the streets or at risk of street connectedness. Bek's experiences as a young person, have now made her feel incredibly passionate about empowering youth and giving them the opportunity to create amazing change in the world and know their own strength and have a voice.


Nicola Duddy - Global Master Trainer

Nicola Duddy obtained her B.A in Drama and Performance from Stellenbosch University. Her recent work in educational and developmental theatre for children nurtured a desire in her to offer tools to youth that would eventually assist them in effecting positive change in the world. Gender equality and the prevention of gender based violence have always been close to Nicola's heart. With NMNW she's excited to help plant the seeds of change regarding both in as many countries as possible, starting in her home country of South Africa.


Paul Cast, Jr. - Global Master Trainer

Paul Cast Jr earned a bachelor’s degree in General Studies and a minor in Emergency & Disaster Response Management from East Tennessee State University. During his undergrad, he re-activated a National Historically Black Greek Fraternity called Phi Beta Sigma and coordinated forums, fundraisers, and events to raise awareness of domestic violence, to combat homelessness, and to promote maternal and child health. Furthering his passion for service after graduation, Paul joined AmeriCorps-FEMA Corps and was apart of the first Lessons Learned Team; where he aided survivors of natural disasters. Paul then, served in the U.S. Peace Corps as a Health Education Teacher in the Republic of Moldova focusing on behavior change approach, diversity and equity. Paul is beyond excited to be apart of the NMNW team and looks forward to this unique opportunity. In his spare time; he loves to bowl, go dancing & play video games.


Jordan Cowan - Global Master Trainer

Jordan completed a B.S. in Biology at Western Oregon University. He started in public health through chronic condition management and research support before joining Peace Corps Uganda as a Community Health Volunteer. While working on HIV prevention, the increased vulnerability of adolescent girls and young women prompted him to prioritize programs addressing aspects of gender inequity. After a third year extension working with TASO Uganda

as an M&E Support Advisor he brought his experience in training, facilitating evidence based youth interventions, and program evaluation to NMNW where he is excited to see the dual gender curriculum promote male responsibility in ending gender violence.


Michael Elton, Jr. - Global Master Trainer

After witnessing extremely high levels of sexual harassment and assault firsthand, Mike is deeply committed to engaging men and boys in sexual violence prevention. Having lived in underserved, low resource areas for several years as a United States Peace Corps Volunteer in Ethiopia, he is resilient, flexible, and creative. He has facilitated trainings with youth, parents, teachers, and health workers on subjects including HIV and malaria prevention, WASH, sexual reproductive health, toxic masculinity and gender-based violence. He’s worked within large international NGOs as well as directly with community leaders, and is adept at developing strong, meaningful relationships. Mike is passionate about improving gender equality, and specifically working with youth in order to increase health-seeking behaviors and decrease risks.


Fabenson Frisch - Global Master Trainer

Fabenson Frisch is a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer from Ukraine. He taught Business at Cherkasy State Business College in Ukraine as well as conducted a wide range of workshops on Entrepreneurship, Human rights, Gender equality, and HIV/ AIDS at the local universities and Windows on America. He is passionate about serving people and positively impacting their life.

His ability to speak French, Spanish, English, Haitian Creole, Russian, Ukrainian & his appreciation for cultures and people has allowed him to build strong relationships all over the world as well as develop cross-cultural skills and cultural sensibility. He holds a Masters in Business Administration (MBA).


Nasar Sailab - Global Master Trainer

Nasar is a recent graduate with Honors from Texas Wesleyan University in Political Science. Nasar was born in Berlin but by the time he was one year old he was living in Pakistan with his family as refugees. Having survived childhood traumas he is intimately familiar with the reality that there is a world out there that is not safe for millions of boys and girls. Nasar has experience working with institutions such as World Learning, AIESEC, and the Embassy of Afghanistan in Washington D.C. Nasar carries a desire to bring positive change in the world and an unwavering determination to make a difference through empowering boys and men to prevent violence.


  • 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 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,, 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


In an effort to stay current with research in the field of sexual gender based violence (SGBV) prevention, NMNW offers six-month internships for volunteer researchers. Each month, the research group studies organizations working to prevent SGBV that have published peer-reviewed papers proving behavior change impact. This helps NMNW remain informed about advances in the SGBV field and incorporate aspects of what is working into programming and services. Our gratitude to our research interns: Grace Margaret Lovio, Yessenia Gomez, Erin Thomas, Natasha Richards and Rebecca Adamson.