The Beginning

When Vasha Vora, the founder of the Amara Charitable Trust, first visited Lukenya she was horrified at the state of the schools she saw in the area. Students were learning in condemned and dilapidated structures that lacked even the most basic facilities.


She believed strongly that children needed and deserved a conducive environment to learn and develop. She found five like-minded, long-term friends with different skills and strengths and together they formed The Amara Charitable Trust in 2008.


Smita Shah


Smita has spent the past 30 years doing social work in Kenya as this is where her greatest passion lies.

She believes that education is a fundamental right for all, as it can lead to people leading fuller, more productive lives and allowing them to reach for the stars in whatever they strive for.

She is a trained Clinical Nutritionist, and she strives to improve the quality-of-life of the terminally ill patients she works with by guiding them on their nutritional needs and other holistic methods that have proven to be very beneficial.

Her interest lies in ensuring young children have access to a wholesome meal, healthcare and green energy. Smita's passion for healthy nutritious meals for children has led to the initiation of school kitchen gardens/shambas.

Smita finds philanthropic work fulfilling and a labour of love.


Vasha Vora

Trustee (Former Chairperson)

Vasha has worn many "hats" over the years. She qualified as a counsellor in her 40's and conducted numerous self-development workshops for over 15 years.

Vasha firmly believes in giving dignity and self-confidence to school communities.

With her excellent communication skills, she is Amara's chief spokesperson and negotiator with school and government officials.

She handles the administration and accounts docket at Amara besides her other work.

In the past 8 years Vasha has also enjoyed being a Granny to 3 lovely little granddaughters.

She firmly believes in vocational and skills training and says Kenya and the world needs more plumbers, motor mechanics, masons, hairdressers, caregivers and teachers. Amara is now encouraging more students to go to technical and vocational colleges, so that they can enhance their own lives and that of their families.

Vasha served as the organisation's chairperson since inception and in 2024 stepped down but remains a committed trustee.

Manisha – website

Manisha Dave


Manisha is an adventurous and dynamic founding trustee. With a master's degree in biomedical research, she has been instrumental in setting up a Top One Hundred medium sized company in Kenya, where she serves as the managing director. This role has equipped her with exceptional organizational and leadership skills.

She believes the secret to living a meaningful life is giving, and has devoted her time, talent and skills towards empowering and mentoring the next generation. Her vision is deeply rooted in the education fund program which promotes higher education and vocational training.

She has a passion for tree planting, and since 2007, has planted thousands of trees across Kenya.  She continues to implement the green initiative across Amara supported schools where she motivates teachers and students to take up the re-greening challenge.

Manisha believes in transparency and accountability, and these qualities have helped nurture long lasting relationships with our donors, volunteers and well-wishers.

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Bindi Shah


Bindi was brought up in India, living in Kenya for more than 3 decades.

Education is close to Bindi's heart and she believes in all students getting equal opportunities. 

Her role in Amara is to oversee all the aspects of Construction, Education and managing Social Media platforms.

Bindi has a Higher Diploma in Counseling which enables her to listen and observe more. She has also worked in The Giants group which brought her closer to the cause to serve.

Having faced challenges while studying in India, she can relate to the hardships Kenyan students face in terms of crowded classrooms, lack of study materials, long distances to walk to reach schools far away, facilities which lack better hygiene and many more.

She is so grateful to be part of Amara, it makes her value and appreciate small and large things in her life.




Diana Nzisa

Committee Member

Diana joined the Amara team in 2012, and has ably and efficiently managed all the administrative work for Amara.

She also regularly liaises with school officials, is an excellent multi-tasker and has an incredible rapport with all stake holders.


Theresa Pereira

Committee Member

Theresa joined Amara Charitable Trust at the end of May 2022.  Having previously worked for close to 30 years in the hospitality industry, she brings a new perspective and energy to the team.

She believes that learning never ends and enjoys that her role is constantly forcing her out of her comfort zone.  Her greatest joy comes from knowing that the work Amara does positively impacts communities and especially the youth who inspire her with their hopes for a better future for themselves.  That she can be part of shaping their future is not something she takes for granted.



Deepali Karani


Deepali is a chartered accountant by profession. Having worked in corporate world for 30 years, she retired in 2016. Since then she has been involved in various social activities. One of them is her association with Amara charitable trust as a volunteer. She helps  with administration and accounting activities.  Her personal experience from this association has been very fulfilling and satisfying. Seeing a smile on someone’s face or hope in those eyes has brought so much joy and  positivity in her life.

A big THANK YOU to Amara team for having faith in me and recognizing my contribution.


Aashnaa Savani


Aashnaa works within the finance sector and finds her creative outlet in running the Amara Charitable Trust's IG account.

Amara has been an integral part of my growing up in Kenya. I began attending trips when I was 12 years old and since have only continued to grow and learn from all of Amara’s varying projects. I absolutely love working with the students, teachers and team members to enhance the educational standards of rural children in Kenya.

“The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much, it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little.” - Franklin Roosevelt


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Tanvi Shah


Tanvi joined the Amara Charitable Trust in 2017.  She believes it is vital to educate today's young generation to make their future better.

Using her experience in finance, she assists in office administration tasks as well as  co-ordinates the various school projects.


Onesmus Mungai


Onesmus is a farmer at heart.  He owns a small plot on the outskirts of Nairobi where he grows vegetables for his family.  He also keeps poultry and some pigs to supplement his income.

He is hardworking and dedicated towards protecting the environment.    A keen farmer, he gets excited when sharing his knowledge with students during planting of vegetable gardens at Amara supported schools.

He has a good understanding of how Amara works and is often sent out on fact finding missions.

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Stanley Wambugu


Wambugu, as he likes to be called, is a father of three and he enjoys working on his small farm where he rears pigs and keeps poultry.

He is a keen gardener and enjoy working the land.  When we visit schools that have vegetable gardens, he is often found watering their plants or advising them on how to weed and harvest their crops.

His time with Amara has taught him the importance of giving back to the community and he encourages others to do the same.  He looks for opportunities to mentor the youth.

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Festus Musembi


Festus has a passion for gardening.  He believes that gardening is a form of recreation and exercise where you get to work in the open and with nature.   During tree planting exercises at Amara supported schools, he encourages students to get their hands dirty while learning about the plants and their benefits.

A father of one, he hopes for a time, when all children will have access to education.

He is grateful that with Amara he has been able to share his love for gardening with the students.

Ashni Dave

Ashni Dave

Committee Member

Ashni is a product designer specialising in user experience. Her strengths lie in creative problem-solving and organisation.  

With a background in Architectural design, she assists Amara on site visits and in reviewing consultant drawings. 

She has been engaging in a reading and literacy programme at Ngalalya Primary school and assisting with Social Media Management, content creation and fundraising. 

Ashni is grateful to be able to join Amara and help create more accessible and equal opportunities for children from rural Kenya. 


Geeta Vora

Committee Member

With experience in marketing, PR and media production; Geeta a single parent of two girls, hopes to add to the Amara values of empowerment and education beyond conventional norms.
She hopes to offer a pragmatic and long-term approach to our country's future with regards to changes in gender roles, viable career options, cultural and societal norms and most importantly, enhancing lives for a more productive Kenya.

"Most people try to make a better world for our children when what they should be doing is making better children for our world.”
— Carlos Slim


Rishabh Shah

Committee Member

Rishabh is an aspiring Architect currently pursuing his final professional qualification in the UK.

Through out his Masters in architecture and professional experience around the globe , Rishabh has looked to design spaces particularly focused on the people it's for. This unique approach with particular interest on the end user is a trait he hopes to echo through Amara's successful construction programme.

He looks to assist Amara's construction team with ideas on how to progress building design, using new technologies and creating comfortable and sustainable spaces that benefit the students that will use it.

Being a part of Amara is something Rishabh treasures.


Priti Shah

Trustee (2008 - 2016)

Regrettably Priti passed away suddenly and unexpectedly in November 2016.

She is sorely missed by the Team for her attention to detail, and her infectious laugh still reverberates at Amara's offices.


Bansi Shah

Committee Member (2008 - 2019)

Bansi's strengths were in handling the Amara website and maintaining the archives.

She managed all school visits and ensured that duties were properly allocated.

She also handled the school furniture and stationery dockets.

Bansi strongly believed that the children are the Nation's future and besides education, they also need unconditional love and nurturing.