Founder and Executive Director

Maria is a social entrepreneur with a background in the financial sector and carbon finance. After 17 years in senior positions in international banking, Maria joined the Executive Board of Green Resources - a tree planting and renewables company, active in East Africa. Working with local labourers and village elders in the Iringa Region, Maria learnt about the acute vulnerability of girls attending schools without safe accommodation. Maria founded Lyra in 2011 in recognition of the huge potential for impact, especially when investing in girls' and young women's education and entrepreneurship. Maria holds an MSc in Economics and MSc in African Politics.



Tanzania Programme Manager

Godfrey has 7 years of experience in community development, working previously for Doctors of the World, and coordinating social responsibilty work for New Forests Company and Green Resources. Godfrey has led Lyra's work since 2015, overseeing hostel construction and the expansion of Village Savings and Loans Associations to over 2000 members. Godfrey has a passion for community impact and holds a Masters degree in Community Development and Project Management and a Sociology degree from the Universtiy of Dar es Salaam.


Naomi has worked in education in Tanzania for 16 years, from teaching maths in rural secondary schools to the management and evaluation of girls' education programmes. Naomi initiated a programme which supported over 20,000 rural Tanzanian girls through secondary school. Through this work she met many young women making outstanding contributions to their communities through their economic activities, philanthropy, and outreach to vulnerable children. Naomi is a Philosophy graduate from the University of Cambridge, and her work focuses on strategy, organisational systems, and analysing and communicating impact.




Roselyne Mariki is a Chemical and Process Engineer with a strong track record of business leadership, climate change initiatives, and community development in Tanzania. She has founded several successful companies, including coffee estates in Kilimanjaro, Great African Safaris, and Green Growth Ltd, which was awarded 'the best African Portal' by UNESCO within a year of inception. As Managing Director of Green Resources, the leading private forest company in Tanzania, employing at least 1,000 staff and working with rural communities, Roselyne led the company's community outreach programmes. She is a founder of her own philanthropic organisation, Upendo Trust.


Professor Msoffe is a leading Tanzanian veterinary scientist, specialising in poultry management. Peter has trained and published extensively on best practice in improving poultry survival, and his advisory work for Lyra has led to VSLA members adopting the haybox brooder technology, which doubles chick survival rates. Professor Msoffe is currently the Deputy Vice Chancellor in charge of Academic, Research and Consultancy of the University of Dodoma.