Our Team

Phylicia Martel

Executive Director

Phylicia is an American social entrepreneur and MBA-educated management professional with 8 years of experience (4+ in Eastern Africa) building and leading multi-disciplinary and multicultural teams, projects and programs for both startup and established enterprises and organizations. She also is a formally trained educator and facilitator with a proven track record of designing and delivering effective and engaging training programs. Her passion for education, youth development, and gender equity drive her work at the grassroots level.

Before co-founding Youth Rising, Phylicia worked on Former United State First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let Girls Learn Initiative with the United States Peace Corps in Uganda, as a Youth and Gender Program Manager. She is also an alumnus of TeachNOLA and Americorps. Read more about Phylicia’s previous contributions to youth development on her LinkedIn page.

Martin Muganzi

Global Director of Programs

Martin is an MBA educated social-impact entrepreneur and Medical Technologist. He is the co-founder and the Director of Programs at Youth Rising International, and he has also co-founded several youth-serving startups including The Calabash Collection, Akalimu.com, and All-Star Mentoring Academy. Martin grew up in a humble rural community of Mpumu-Salaama, Mukono District (Where Youth Rising Mukono is located), and his childhood struggles built a sense of passion to the service of others.


He is a 2014 Mandela Washington Fellow, a 2016 Tony Elumelu Entrepreneur, a 2018 graduate of Global MBA in Impact Entrepreneurship, a joint university program of Uganda Martyrs University and Catholic University of Milan, Italy. He is currently a Medical Technologist practicing at Kingman Regional Medical Center, Arizona, USA. 

Allan Nsubuga

Country Director - Uganda

Nsubuga Allan is a Community Psychologist and the current Country Director – Uganda, for Youth Rising International. Allan’s passion is gender equity and income equality, and his efforts seek to ensure that all youth regardless of gender or educational background have access to and can effectively get to use the appropriate financial knowledge they need to improve their lives.


He started as a volunteer at Youth Rising, became Program Manager and was promoted to Country Director in 2018. Allan attended the Reach a Hand Uganda peer education fellowship where he organized peer learning and youth empowerment sessions every month for a year. He is an award winner for the best sexual reproductive health and youth empowerment advocate in Uganda, 2016.



Sumani Ganafa

Regional Team Leader - YR Mukono

Sumani Ganafa (Osman) is the Regional Team Leader at Youth Rising Mukono. He is a first-class graduate of a Bachelor’s degree in Social Work and Social Administration (SWASA) from Kyambogo University. He boasts of over 7 years of experience in programming, administration, management, M&E, reporting, and fieldwork operations for development programs.

He is also a certified HIV and AIDS counselor by The Aids Support Organization (TASO), and he is presently pursuing a Master’s degree in Social Sector Planning and Management (MA.SSPM) from Makerere University Kampala.

As a professional social worker, Sumani is familiar with the most social contemporary issues in the target community but also familiar with the needs of young people and children. He is intrinsically motivated with a lot of enthusiasm to learn and readily adapts to new working environments. During his free time, Sumani enjoys watching/ playing soccer, swimming and watching movies.

Ronnie Tumusiime

Finance & Administration Manager
Ronald “Ronnie” is a hard-working, knowledgeable and target-oriented Manager with a successful leadership and Management experience attained over a period of five years. He has worked with several finance and insurance companies including Prudential Life Assurance and Pride Microfinance.
He was also a project coordinator and finance manager at Action Africa, and Head Finance Department and Administrator, Kigezi Healthcare Foundation. Ronnie is currently a student of Master of Business Administration and has a Bachelor of Business Administration.

Penina Tumuhimbise

Ray United FC Country Director

Peninah is the Uganda Country Coordinator for Ray United FC (RUFC), a partner organization with  Youth Rising International. She is responsible for designing, coordinating, managing, implementing and monitoring RUFC-YR activities throughout Uganda. This includes planning and coordination of School Clubs, Annual Soccer and Health Camp, Splash safe Camps, Youth Vision Trips, and Student Sponsorship.

Peninah is a biochemistry graduate from Makerere University and has been a volunteer with Ray United for the past three years. Peninah was College President during her time at Makerere University and is currently pursuing a Master’s in Public Administration. In her free time, she is either reading or swimming.