Brighter Communities Worldwide is a registered charity in Ireland and a company limited by guarantee, under the direction of a Board of Directors. Brighter Communities Worldwide is also a registered International Non-Governmental Organisation in Kenya under the direction of a Board of Directors.

Meet the board

Legal status

Brighter Communities Worldwide is a registered charity in Ireland (CHY16505), and a company limited by guarantee (398094) and registered with the Charity Regulatory Authority (CRA 20059583).

Brighter Communities Worldwide is an International Non-Governmental Organisation registered in Kenya (OP/218/051/2005/0295/3731)


Brighter Communities Worldwide is governed by the Board of Directors in Ireland and the Board of Directors in Kenya. The Boards are composed of 10 Directors plus the Chief Executive.

The boards each meet five-six times a year and have ultimate responsibility for directing the affairs of Brighter Communities Worldwide, ensuring it is solvent, well-run and delivering the outcomes for which it has been set up. The boards are responsible for the strategic direction, safeguarding the ethos and are responsible for the audit and finance of Brighter Communities Worldwide including money, insurance and legalities.

The directors have responsibility for, and are aware of the risks associated with the operating activities of Brighter Communities Worldwide.

Adequate systems of internal control are in place which aim to ensure compliance with laws and policies, ensure efficient and effective use of resources, safeguard assets and maintain the integrity of financial information produced. Financial information is subject to detailed review at board level.

The executive committee deals with any urgent matters in between board meetings, and ensures board decisions are implemented.

The day-to-day management of the organisation is delegated to the CEO and staff in Ireland and in Kenya.

View Governance and Transparency Statement »

Board of Directors in Ireland

board and staff/Anita-Layden

Anita Layden is the Chairperson of the Brighter Communities Worldwide Board. Anita is a Chartered Engineer who specialises in water and wastewater including; Water supply from source to distribution, storage, treatment and conservation; Wastewater collection (foul and stormwater), pumping and treatment; Environmental and Sustainability Assessments; Wind Energy and Energy Markets Procurement; Safety and Health Assessments and Business Development. Anita has extensive board experience; she was until recently a Director of Ryan Hanley Consulting Engineers, and is currently serving on the boards of Gaoithe Saor Teoranta, and Moneenatieve Windfarm Ltd.

Anita has been a Brighter Communities Worldwide volunteer since 2009 and has spent a considerable amount of time in Kenya working on the Brighter Communities Worldwide Water Programme, training FOL staff, and building capacity in the water programme. She has managed a project team, run business trainings and attended many meetings on behalf of Brighter Communities Worldwide – community, District and in Nairobi.

She currently is working part-time with Water and Sanitation for the Urban Poor (WSUP) and is their Programme Director for Bangladesh and is also pursuing a Masters in International Development Practice.

Kieran Curtis

Kieran Curtis is the Vice Chairperson of Brighter Communities Worldwide. Kieran has volunteered with Brighter Communities Worldwide in Londiani on many occasions since 2005.

Kieran is a key member of the Incident Management Team in Brighter Communities Worldwide – involved with reviewing, adapting and updating the incident management plan regularly. Kieran was a key player in initial development of logistical plans and Incident Management Plans for Brighter Communities Worldwide.

Kieran has a Scouting background, and in 2012 during Irish Girl Guides CAMP 101, the risk management process was devised and managed by Kieran.

Kieran is an IT Project Manager in AIB with experience in assessing the feasibility, analysing the risks vs cost benefit of proposed changes; project planning, tracking costs against budget; maintaining risk and issues logs.

He is also a qualified Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) and current volunteer with Order of Malta, and Qualified Remote Emergency Care Instructor with vast experience in Kenya and Ireland.

Martin Ballantyne

Martin Ballantyne has been involved in Brighter Communities Worldwide since its inception and first travelled to Kenya in 2003 on honeymoon and was married again in the village of Lelsothet!

Martin is currently the CEO of Brighter Communities Worldwide. Martin has held multiple roles in Brighter Communities Worldwide since 2002 including Board Member, Project Leader for volunteer groups, Trainer of volunteer groups and Executive Director. Martin is also a member of the Brighter Communities Worldwide Kenya Board of Directors.

Martin is passionate about people, community development and building capacity amongst communities. Martin spends vast amounts of time in Kenya building partnerships with communities, government ministries and other NGOS. Martin works very closely with the staff team in Ireland and in Kenya.

Martin has vast experience in Accounting, Business and Management through previous employment roles in both the non-profit and corporate sectors.

Eva Creely

Eva Creely joined the Brighter Communities Worldwide board in August 2014. Within the previous ten years in Léargas, and in other employments in Ireland and abroad, Eva has taken a lead role in implementing national and international education projects in formal, non-formal and informal learning environments involving a wide range of learners and those who work with them. With post graduate qualifications in formal and non-formal education, Eva has undertaken continuous professional and personal development opportunities. As a result of her learning and experience, Eva has developed skills in programme management and implementation, in working with a wide range of stakeholders from many cultural backgrounds and in delivering appropriate educational programmes, events and materials. Eva has volunteered in Northern Kenya in 2013 and visited schools and contacts in Londiani in 2012.

board and staff/Charlie-Daly

Charlie Daly has worked with Brighter Communities Worldwide since its inception in 2002. Charlie is a solicitor who is the principal of a legal practice.

Charlie has much volunteer experience through his experience as a director of Cobh Youth Services for approximately the last 20 years. Charlie is a member of the Irish Guide Dogs for the blind, and was the Chairman of the board a few years ago.

Charlie’s legal, strategic, governance and board experience will be of huge benefit to Brighter Communities Worldwide.

Audry Deane

Audry Deane joined the board of Brighter Communities Worldwide in August 2014. Audry brings vast advocacy, policy development and lobbying experience to the board. Audry has also lectured at a post grad level with the Open University and Trinity College. Audry is currently a Social Policy Analyst with Vincent De Paul and is responsible for securing more equitable and beneficial health and education policy outcomes. Audry is also a freelance management consultant where her work has a health, education and social exclusion focus. Audry is a founding and current board member of Healthy Food for All an all island group working to stop food poverty.

board and staff/Linden-Edgell

Linden Edgell is the Global Director of Sustainability and head of the Corporate Foundation for an international consulting firm. In this capacity, she leads the organisation's approach to the Sustainable Development Goals and its interactions with leading business groups, UN agencies and other organisations. She is a social scientist by training, and has worked with communities across the world in developing, implementing and evaluating a range of social investment and CSR programs.

Linden has also been involved in the non profit sector. She served on the global Board for the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS) for 6 years, 3 of those as Deputy Chair. Prior to that she served 3 years on the Strategic Planning Committee and was on the Board of Guides Australia serving as Assistant Chief Commissioner for 5 years.

Linden Edgell has been a long time supporter of Brighter Communities Worldwide. She has visited Londiani on many occasions and been involved with leading Harambees with participants from Australia and New Zealand. In 2012/13 she took a sabbatical from work for several months to live in Londiani and work on several projects including the development of the 2013 - 17 Strategic Plan. She has also facilitated workshops with the Brighter Communities Worldwide Board on several occasions.

board and staff/Colum-Horgan

Colum Horgan is an experienced director and board member. Colum is an engineer who has worked in IT and Telecoms for over 30 years.

He is co-founder and Chairman of Aspira – an IT company with a staff of almost 100 people. He is also founder and CEO of InverCloud a startup selling cloud solutions to global Telcos.

Colum has served on the Board of Enterprise Ireland since 2013, also serving on the Enterprise Ireland Audit Committee with a special focus on corporate risk management.

Prior to his current roles, Colum served as a senior manager with Motorola and served on the board and as President of the Ireland chapter of the Project Management Institute (PMI)

Maria Kidney

Maria Kidney has been involved in Brighter Communities Worldwide since its inception (co-founder) and was Leader of the first volunteer group who travelled to Kenya in 2002. Maria first travelled to Kenya in 2000 to climb mountains, and after a mugging incident in Nairobi she sought refuge in the Kenya Girl Guide Association. There she was inspired by the community development work done, and promised to return to Kenya again.

Maria has held multiple roles in Brighter Communities Worldwide since 2002 including Chairperson, Board Member, Project Leader for volunteer groups, Trainer of volunteer groups and Project Leaders. Maria is also a member of the Brighter Communities Worldwide Kenya Board of Directors. Maria has extensive volunteer experience through her involvement with volunteer groups in Ireland and overseas.

Maria began her career as a software engineer and business analyst. She is a qualified Management Accountant with financial, management and strategic planning experience. Maria is very interested in health, women and community leadership. Maria has a Masters in Public Health from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

In 2006 Maria was awarded the Junior Chamber of Commerce International Total Outstanding Young Person (TOYP) of the Year Award; and the Vodafone Passion of the World Around Us Award. In 2010 Maria was awarded the Cobh Person of the Year Award.

Sally O’Neill

Sally O’Neill joined the board in 2012. Sally brings experience in International NGO leadership, working with international Boards, with a particular emphasis on strategy, M&E, planning and operations. She is fluent in Spanish and French, with particular interest in Africa and Latin America, with focus on girls, health and community leadership.

Sally is currently the Director of Global Strategy with Orbis International. Orbis strengthens health systems and structures through local hospital partners, and trains medical professionals and community workers to improve eye care worldwide.

Previously she was Director of Global Operations in the World Association of Girl Guides & Girl Scouts (WAGGGS), London, leading a worldwide team to develop and deliver programmes and support to the 145 member countries, through the five regions and four training centres.

board and staff/Frederic Spengeman

Frederic Spengeman is a qualified Chartered Accountant who holds a BSc (Economics) from University of Delaware; Fellow with Chartered Accountants Ireland; Associate with Taxation Ireland.

He is now retired, and career included a wide variety of accountancy roles including being an accountant in public practice and holding several senior positions in industry. Frederic also lectured part-time in accounting and economics at the Cork Institute of Technology.

Frederic chairs Brighter Communities Worldwide Audit Committee.

Board of Directors in Kenya

Charlies Bii

Charlies Bii is the Headmaster of Ndubusat Primary School and has worked as a volunteer with Brighter Communities Worldwide since 2004. Charles has vast experience in Education and community development.

Dr Betty Langat

Dr. Betty Langat is the Country Director and Chairperson of the Board of Directors. She is also the District Medical Services Officer in Kipkelion District. She has worked in partnership with Brighter Communities Worldwide for many years, and brings her Health and Medical expertise to the Board of Directors.

Anna Mainek

Anna Mainek retired as Country Director in 2012 but remains on the board of Brighter Communities Worldwide. She worked with Brighter Communities Worldwide since its inception in 2002 until her retirement last year. Anna is from Lelsothet Village, near Londiani. She is a very experienced Life Skills Trainer, and has a vast knowledge of community development working with many community groups throughout the District.

Selinah J Kibogy

Selinah J Kibogy has 18 years experience acquired while working in the Education, Development and Emergency Response Sectors. Academic qualifications include studies in Education and postgraduate studies in Educational Administration, Planning (MED) at the University of Nairobi and currently undertaking a PHD in Educational Administration and Planning . She also has taken a course in Management and Development programme at University of California (UCLAA) 2008. Her greatest interest is in capacity development especially in policy making, research, networking, and Emergency risk reduction. She has experience working in various Government Ministries, Civil society, Private sector, the Public Sector and Volunteering Organizations.

Philex O. Twigo

Philex O. Twigo is from Kipkelion and has been a teacher for over 25 years. Philex has vast educational and board experience through his involvement in Education, other NGOS and the church. He believes that human development is the key to community and national development and wants to bring positive changes to communities.

Jonah Tonui

Jonah Tonui lives in Londiani and has over 30 years experience working with NGOS. Jonah has vast financial experience and accounting experience. Jonah has served on the boards of Kapkondor Secondary school Londiani. He was the Chairman of Londiani District Hosptial Committee during the construction of the Operating Theatre funded by Brighter Communities Worldwide and Irish Aid. He has excellent project management and community development skills.

Monica Wanyoike

Monica Wanyoike is the women’s representative on the board, and lives in Londiani. She has vast community development experience, and is passionate about working with communities. She has assisted Brighter Communities Worldwide's bursary scheme since its inception and is involved in many local committees.

Kimani Njogu

Kimani Njogu lives in Nairobi and is originally from Kipkelion. Kimani is a Professor in Swahili, and has vast experience in communications and NGO work. Kimani brings his business and NGO experience to the board, and is passionate about the future direction of Brighter Communities Worldwide.

Martin Ballantyne and Maria Kidney also sit on the Board of Directors in Kenya.

View staff profiles »