Lighthouse is a non-profit media publication that aims to connect the dots across cultures through diverse, inclusive and powerful narratives.
Through stories, interviews, videos and podcasts, we provide a platform for citizens of the world, to open minds and spark change through their experiences and lessons.
Meet the Founder
Ashitha is part of the executive office at the Melton Foundation, a 501c(3) non-profit working on Global Citizenship. Ashi, as we like to call her, brings leadership experience from the tech and non-profit sectors and has also built her storytelling for change blog ground-up! Ashi was recently awarded the Karel Scholarship by the Rockefeller Foundation, which recognizes exceptional non-profit strategists and communicators.
“Since I was a child, I’ve harboured a passion for storytelling and impactful, empowering narratives. I believe in the power of a good story to spark change; to inspire and question the wrongs and rights of the world. More than ever before, the world today needs a bridge to connect people across barriers. And stories are the currency to achieve that goal. No matter the colour of our skin, the language we speak, or the distance in between our worlds, together with this incredible team, I am on a journey to create a space for brave narratives, and provide a guiding light that inspires fresh intercultural perspectives: a ‘lighthouse’ if you will!”
“In a world that is confusing, stressful, and lost in struggle and hate, I hope that Lighthouse can inspire you to ask the questions, pause and listen to the world around you. We’ll join you on that journey, one story at a time.”
– Ashitha Nayak
Meet the Team!
Head of Campaigns
Strategic Program Manager
Media Content Creator
Storyteller and Content Creator
(Ex) Co-Founder- LH Espanol
(Ex) Digital Media Manager
(Ex) Content Specialist
(Ex) Design Intern
Angela Martínez Flores
(Ex) Media Intern - Spanish
(Ex) Media Intern - Spanish
(Ex) Journalism Intern
(Ex) Digital Media Journalism Intern
(Ex) Social Media Intern
(Ex) Journalism and Marketing Intern
(Ex) Journalism and Marketing Intern
(Ex) Campaigns and Journalism Intern
(Ex) Outreach and Journalism Intern
(Ex) Content Curation and Social Media Intern
(Ex) Journalism Intern
(Ex) Marketing and Design Intern
(Ex) Social Media and Journalism Intern
(Ex) Digital Writer
Nubaira Ahmar Khan
(Ex) Digital Media Consultant
The Melton Foundation is an international 501(c)(3) non-profit organization registered in the USA, and a leading proponent of global citizenship practice worldwide. Established nearly thirty years ago with the credence that collaborations across boundaries can forge sustainable solutions to the world’s most pressing challenges, today they span across six global citizenship hubs in Chile, China, Germany, Ghana, India, and the United States of America.
Lighthouse was born through the Melton Foundation’s Action Grants program in 2021. The Melton Foundation works to promote and enable Global Citizenship as a way for individuals and organizations to work together across boundaries in an interconnected world. The MF has supported our journey into inciting change through storytelling, and we are forever grateful that they were our backbone in our early days!
It isn’t easy for us to express in words what we get in thoughts, nor is it easy to capture another’s musings if that’s what they sought.
I have known Ashitha for 6 years now and what I can definitely validate is that she is that fiery soul who will keep pushing forward no matter what and she will do anything to get there. However, this is a testimony to Ashitha’s brand of writing and not her personality, so let’s go there now. For as long as I have known her, she has been evolving, yet sticking to what she knows best.
Similarly, the stories published are ever-morphing, yet sticking to the true essence of what they are always meant to be. If you read under the lines, you will realize that the stories, not only take the small things in life and make them bigger, but also take the big things in life and make them even bigger.
Anusha R Chandra
Ashitha’s brand of storytelling is many things.
It is bold.
It is relatable.
It is intriguing.
But most importantly, it is blatantly, straight out, Real.
The writing portrays the world as it is, no sugar coating. I feel like the stories really makes you THINK and is a real eye opener, which society oh-so dearly requires. I’m not much of a reader myself, but there’s just something about Ashitha’s storytelling that makes her work so relatable to my own life, making it wonderful to read. I would like to ask Ashitha to continue publishing stories always, for the world needs more and more of her fabulous work!
This world has made it so that discrimination has become an unfortunate reality for so many vulnerable groups and one of the most time-worn battles has been that against gender-based discrimination and violence. The Stories of Kisumu campaign has given voice to unheard narratives and perspectives from real women and it gave me a sense of solidarity but also hope that no matter what they had to go through, these brave women were able to overcome and rise above their pain. They are still standing strong and have not been silenced, having their stories out there through Lighthouse’s platforms to inspire even more girls and women to believe in themselves and for the people to continue to advocate for this cause if we ever want to see true equality.
It is gut-wrenching to see the trauma the suffering women continue to face in the 21st century despite globalization and change makers taking the lead for a better world. I, for one, couldn’t read their stories without feeling like I’m put in that spot. However, looking from a glass half full perspective, this campaign is giving voice to the anguish of millions of women all around the globe through 10 women from Kisumu County, Kenya and that is commendable. A true testament of ‘Together We Can’ paints the world orange.
Stories bring people together to act on issues. But, stories can only be heard if they are told. Lighthouse’s initiative to tell stories such as the ones in the ‘Stories of Kisumu’ campaign is really what the world needs today. ‘Stories of Kisumu’ has vividly highlighted the importance of sociological and political forces to rescue women from injustice. These stories play an important role to change the status quo and align people towards stopping injustice. Moreover, the first-person nature of these stories helps any reader to put themselves in the victim’s shoes and understand how they could become an agent of change. I’ll remember these words from Chawni’s interview for a long time to come – “It is your duty to take care of yourself, to make people know you are worth it.” “When abused, stand up for yourself, don’t let people look down upon you. Don’t let them tell you what is best for you. You know what is best for you.” More power to Lighthouse.
Storytelling is a powerful tool. It has the potential to discern the truth, no matter how harsh it may be, from the grips of a distorted reality. Through Stories of Kisumu, Lighthouse has managed to harness this blessing. The narratives are real stories which played out in the same world we live in, highlighting how gender based violence affects the lives of its survivors. Stories of Kisumu is not merely a collection of discrete stories ; it is a project which inspires and moves people to stand up and speak up against injustice. It brings to the fore experiences which would otherwise remain hidden from mainstream glare undergone by unique women who displayed extraordinary courage and determination despite their stifling environments.
With the increased connectivity of today’s world, now more than ever, the importance of storytelling for change is as apparent as it can get. Stories of Kisumu manages to paint a picture of the hardships and hope in people’s lives in Kisumu. The stories are extremely moving and are essential in providing a voice to the unheard in the remotest parts of the world. Lighthouse is doing a fabulous job in inspiring young women to excel and be unfettered despite their environments.
I’m glad this platform exists. The tales in Stories of Kisumu are gut-wrenching, and I’m glad that the victims have a platform where they are heard and respected.
Stories of Kisumu is a campaign that brings me hope & humility in listening to how women of Kisumu overcame their violent circumstances. The wisdom shared by these women are something I take with me, it is something that helps me remember how important it is to respect yourself and pick yourself up. Abuse may come in many different forms, yet the learnings almost always ring the same. Lighthouse has done a great job in highlighting the stories and creating the uniting narrative that we all need.
Gender Based Violence is nothing but an avatar of repression, something that should remain a matter of deep shame for humanity.One of the parts that I could relate the most is The Girl Behind – By Steasy Atieno
It is a story of how abuse can go unheard or unnoticed when perpetrators abuse their power. Do check it out.
Inequality takes on many shapes, one of the worst being gender based violence. On the bright side, various organisations and individuals are striking at the roots of discrimination to dismantle institutions of patriarchy and outdated norms. Survivors themselves are speaking out and striving to bring people who support and practice such violence to justice. One such initiative is Stories of Kisumu. Lighthouse has put together a 10 story campaign complete with podcasts, videos, and blogs exposing the realities on the ground. The one that resonates the most with me is Lived stories, lived ordeals : Stories of Kisumu – By Judith Awano.
When we allow violence to continue, either as silent bystanders or as active participants, we attack the social fabric of society bound by the sacred threads of equality, diversity and dignity.
I am thrilled that lighthouse chose a city in my home country to launch their pilot program in. Throughout my life I’ve heard endless GBV stories from that region so I’m glad that Lighthouse has joined the campaign to shed light and bring life to the stories and their victims.
Today, I invite you to join me and my dear friends at Lighthouse, to uncover stories of survivors, activists, and active citizens fighting Gender Based Violence at the grassroots, in Kisumu county, Kenya.
Gender microaggressions are defined as intentional or unintentional insults, those of which are based on gender.Gender microaggressions can be a gateway for sexual harassment and sexual assault. As a teacher, I know that the best ways of learning involve playing in safe spaces and Lighthouse provides this space for us to learn from brave women who speak about how to bring about changes for discriminated women and survivors everywhere through it’s pilot project- Stories of Kisumu.
Rose Anjaho, a mother from Kisumu county in Kenya, leads a life fraught with difficulties and roadblocks since her husband’s passing away. This is the story of Finding a way through Hope, a part of the 10 part campaign-Stories of Kisumu. Stories of Kisumu is a reminder that it is time we raise our voices against Gender Based Violence. A threat to women anywhere is a threat to humanity everywhere.
Each one of us must adopt a policy – a policy of zero tolerance of gender based discrimination.I invite you to join me in unravelling Stories of Kisumu, where we shall listen to stories straight from the hearts and homes of women who have faced discrimination and violence. The one that I could personally relate with the most is A Problem Said, A Problem Half-Solved – By George Odiero, which is a story of a woman who overcame all the toxic relationships, depression, abuse, and addiction around her.Listen to stories from Kisumu and be inspired to take action!