Board of Trustees – UK

Our UK Board is responsible for the management of Amuka Foundation. Leading on project management, fundraising, financial accountability and defining our strategic objectives. To ensure effective engagement with local communities and our understanding of traditional and cultural norms, we liaise regularly with a Kenya Board of Trustees who act in an advisory capacity and ensure that as Amuka Foundation, we do no harm to our beneficiaries, their families and the community.
Stephanie Barnwell

Stephanie Barnwell – Chair UK Board of Trustees

Steph works for an international humanitarian organisation in Bosnia and Herzegovina focusing on security related issues. She graduated from the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow with a degree in International Business and held various volunteer roles with organisations in Scotland, Kenya and Cambodia.

Steph first met Amuka’s founder Ellie Bird in 2014 in Kenya while volunteering for a local NGO. Steph and Ellie worked together on girls empowerment projects in Kenya and maintained a relationship when Steph returned to Scotland. Ellie asked Steph to be involved in Amuka and she was immediately interested in working with her to develop the important work of the foundation.

Elizabeth Owsley

Elizabeth Owsley – Deputy Chairperson

Elizabeth completed 30 years with the Metropolitan Police, with the latter part of her career as National Coordinator for the British Association for Women in Policing (BAWP). She has worked in central London most of her career. Through BAWP she met Ellie and worked with her closely for a few years. They maintained contact after her retirement, and this progressed to a visit to Kenya. When Ellie founded the Amuka Foundation she asked Elizabeth to be a trustee, which Elizabeth readily agreed to.

Elizabeth likes to run, although her competitive days are over, she loves walking and has completed many long distance trails; golf is also her passion, which has led Elizabeth to visit many countries.

She is delighted to be part of Amuka, to help spread the word in the UK, and to enable others to help too.

Jane Ainslie

Jane has been visiting Kenya for the past 10 years with her 2 children Katie and Ben. It’s her 2nd home! Jane and her family have supported a number of projects through their schools and collecting in their local area.

Jane was overwhelmed by the warm welcome she received in Karare during Ellie’s wedding and resolved to do all she could to support the local community in thanks for this welcome.

Jane’s background lies in marketing and following a serious illness the life changing decision to work part time for a disability charity to allow her to spend more time with her family. She looks forward to using her experience to help Amuka Foundation grow and develop increasing its impact within Kenya.

Ingrid Rowlands – Treasurer

Ingrid Rowlands recently joined Amuka Foundation as volunteer Treasurer and a Trustee.

In her day job Ingrid is an Accountant for a Social Housing provider.  Ingrid loves an adventure and has lived and travelled all over the world for many years before coming back to the UK.  Ingrid is a mum of two boys so when she is not planning adventures, she is taking them to football, cricket and other activities.

When she can fit it into her busy schedule, Ingrid also like to run, sail and ski!

Ingrid recently completed an Artic Trek on cross-country ski’s, raising money for a breast cancer charity. We are delighted to have Ingrid on our Board and plans for her next adventure which will of course be to raise funds for Amuka Foundation.


Adrienne Williams

As a mother of 3 daughters and a 5 year old granddaughter who has just begun her first footsteps in full time education, Adrienne is passionate about free education for children everywhere and equal rights for girls and all sentient beings.  

Interested in holistic and spiritual wellness Adrienne has started to work with essential oils and their benefits on body and mind.  Adrienne volunteers weekly in a local Oxfam shop and helps raise funds for an animal sanctuary. Her main interests are reading and writing about the First World War and visiting the battlefields and war graves in France and Belgium.

Adrienne has yet to visit Kenya but is motivated by the stories from others and keen to learn more about the challenges faced by our beneficiaries. Adrienne is currently developing her role in selling merchandise from the ladies groups in Karare and Ngando.

Elaine Grant

Elaine Grant

I am truly delighted to be appointed as trustee for Amuka foundation. My involvement with Amuka goes back to 2018 when I was part of a Scout Leader Team to Kenya with a group of young people from the Highlands and Islands of Scotland. Since visiting Kenya, hearing stories and seeing first-hand, the positive impact the Foundation is having on young people and communities, I continue to be inspired. As a trustee, I want to be a part of that team, making a difference.

At home, I am a Child Protection Social Worker within the remote and rural of Highlands, helping children and young people to feel safe and be safe. Worldwide, children and young people face difficulties through hardship, abuse, neglect, and endangerment.

As a Scout leader for more than 30 years, I have watched young people grow and develop. Scouting prepares them with the skills they need to succeed in life and make a positive impact on society. I hope that I can bring my skills and experience into making a difference for children and young people in Kenya with Amuka Foundation. 

Phillipa Marks

Philippa Marks – Secretary

Philippa is the newest member of Amuka Foundation; appointed as Secretary of the UK Board of Trustees. 

Throughout the day, Philippa works as an assistant company secretary in a listed company. Keen to put her experience and skills to good use outside of work, Philippa hopes to help Amuka Foundation continue to build on the fantastic work that’s already being done. Her timely appointment will allow fellow trustees to focus their time on other critical areas of activity.

When conditions allow, Philippa loves to travel and is keen on yoga and Pilates. When not flying high or breathing deeply, you can usually find her in wellies exploring the countryside with her pet Labrador Penny!

Philippa is yet to visit Kenya but is excited to get stuck in and looks forward to learning more about the positive impact Amuka is having.

Ellie Bird Lenawarungu

Ellie Bird Lenawarungu – Trustee

Ellie served for more than thirty years as a police officer across the UK. Her passion for protecting those who are vulnerable and mentoring young people to develop skills and confidence to protect themselves and achieve their goals suited her new life in Kenya after retirement in 2014.

Ellie believes that effective solutions require an understanding of the complexity of problems. Amuka Foundation is committed to develop leadership and resilience within communities; a broad range of activities each addressing elements of the problem. Ellie has seen how equipping a mother with the skills to make reusable sanitary towels ensures that she can protect and provide for her children, her daughter can attend school and that she has the confidence to make decisions for the safety and wellbeing of her family.

As a consultant, working across Africa, Ellie advises on gender based violence, women, peace and security. Ellie donates a percentage of her earnings each month into sustaining the Foundation’s administration and project activities.

As well as developing young people in Kenya, Ellie is keen to share her experience and insight with other young people and those in leadership positions around the World.