Celebrating the Women at Amara Charitable Trust

Image – Women

As the world marks International Women’s Day, on 8th March, many of us will find ways to acknowledge and celebrate women we know, admire, and especially those women who influence and inspire us, hopefully to be better versions of ourselves.

As I write this blog, certain questions come to mind. What is the genesis of this day? When did the movement to acknowledge women and address gender disparity begin? Why did this day even become necessary?

I would encourage you to read the history of the first International Women’s Day which dates back to 1908. Women started campaigning for equality, even before 1908 and are still a long way off from achieving gender parity. In their report of July 2022, the World Economic Forum stated: “Gender parity is not recovering, according to the Global Gender Gap Report 2022. It will take another 132 years to close the global gender gap.”

If that report is correct, it effectively means that those of us reading this blog today, will never see gender parity in our lifetimes. While this may be disheartening, it certainly should not discourage us from doing what we can to advance the cause for the women who will come after us, much like the women who have gone before us have done.

History has shown us that we can make an impact whether it is in our families, our communities or on a global stage. Let us accept that we can be our own cheerleaders and that, more often than not, we are indeed the only voices encouraging and cheering each other to push boundaries. There is nothing more inspiring than seeing women celebrating and uplifting other women. We can open the door for other women to achieve their highest potential.

This International Women’s Day, let us be the catalyst for the change we want to see, especially for the girls we are raising in our communities.

I was fortunate to be raised by a brave, proud and strong woman who was unafraid to challenge the status quo and carve out her own path. Her influence, strength and words of wisdom continues to have an impact on my life to this day and that is why I will be an advocate for female empowerment, no matter how small my sphere of influence may be. I grew up knowing that women are formidable when fighting for a cause they believe in and that, while we were often thought of as the weaker gender, we have a strength that comes from deep within that cannot be diminished no matter what constraints some societies try to impose upon us.

The Amara Charitable Trust, a women led organization, demonstrates what women can achieve when they come together for a purpose higher than themselves. Started in 2008, by Vasha Vora, her sole desire was to offer children from underserved communities opportunities to learn in a conducive environment. Fifteen years on, she remains unwavering in her pursuit of this vision. She is joined in this endeavor by Smita Shah, Manisha Dave and Bindi Shah. All strong women in their own right, they are steadfast in their commitment to bring about a positive change in our community.

“There is no limit to what we, as women, can accomplish.” –

Michelle Obama

We are grateful to Bansi Shah and the late Priti Shah who were part of this team and who worked tirelessly to Educate, Empower and Enhance the lives of youth in rural Kenya.

Fueled by a passion to leave the world a better place, the four Trustees handle programs that play on their strengths and support each other to achieve Amara’s vision.

Manisha Dave, a founding Trustee was recently recognized as “Women CEO of the Year” in the “Family Business” category for the Top 100 mid-sized companies in Kenya. She is a testament to women forging their own path and breaking the glass ceiling.

There are many such success stories of strong women making an impact in the world, and I for one, feel privileged to be part of this amazing team of change drivers.

Not only do we seek to address inequity in the education system through our construction, education and feeding programs, we also continue to tackle issues affecting young women by organizing Reproductive, Menstrual Health and Reusable Pad Making Workshops. It is unthinkable that period poverty is still a topic in this day and age. That young girls reaching puberty are unable to access sanitary products is a concern. Our workshops teach the girls how to sew reusable sanitary towels from readily available materials as well as how to look after their wellbeing during this important phase in their lives.

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Another issue plaguing young girls is unplanned pregnancies. Through our workshops we create an awareness that empowers young women to believe in their worth and be uncompromising when it comes to standing up for their rights in a patriarchal society. Young girls have to drop out of school in the event they fall pregnant and this affects their education. With the problem being so prevalent, the Government has had to issue a directive that ensures these young girls are readmitted into school after falling pregnant

The good news is that the tide has started to turn, albeit slowly but turning nevertheless as more female led organizations begin to speak out about these issues. I believe we are at a watershed moment in the history of women’s equality. So, while we may not see gender parity, it is exciting to be here at this moment in time. More women are holding important positions of authority and influence, women have broken through the proverbial glass ceiling and more women are being empowered to venture into male dominated careers and leading nations.

This International Women’s Day, we recognize all our volunteers, female community leaders, individual women and women’s groups who have faithfully supported us through the years. Their willingness to champion our core values is humbling. We thank you all for standing by us but most of all for believing in our vision.

We celebrate all the single mums and grandmothers we meet in the community who are raising children or grandchildren on their own and, who despite all the odds, remain determined to give opportunities, they themselves have never had, to the next generation of young girls. We applaud the mothers we meet who have taken in abandoned children, not even related to them, and are raising them as their own.

These remarkable women know instinctively what needs to be done and they inspire us with their quiet strength.

Most importantly, we acknowledge all the women who have gone before us and who paved the way for the progress we are seeing today.

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These remarkable women know instinctively what needs to be done and they inspire us with their quiet strength.

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Everyday should be a day to celebrate women in our communities who are raising the next generation of leaders! Let us continue to inspire them.

“This Women’s Day, and every day, stand up for women


Article by Theresa Pereira

Theresa started working with Amara Charitable Trust in May 2022 and her experiences with the communities we serve inspires her blogs posts. Everyday day brings new life lessons which are cherished and accepted with gratitude.

1 reply added

  1. Well done Amara ladies. God bless and give you strength to go from strength to strength.
    So proud to know each of you and of your amazing achievements which continue as I comment ????????????????????????????????

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