UK Team


Stephanie Barnwell
(Board Chairperson)

Stephanie is a Fourth year student at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, Scotland. She is currently studying International Business. In 2014, Stephanie spent three months in Cambodia working for Voluntary Services Oversees (VSO) which is a British charity. Stephanie worked with a local partner organisation on indigenous people’s rights and sustainability issues. After working in Cambodia she later worked in Kenya within a local children’s home, an adult education centre and early childhood education centres.

During her time in Kenya she met with Ellie, the founder of Amuka, and they worked on empowerment projects. When Stephanie returned home to Scotland, Ellie asked her to be involved in Amuka, and she was immediately interested in being involved in the important work the Foundation carries out in Kenya.


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


Jane Ainslie
(Secretary)

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.

Russell Francis
(Associate trustee – finance manager)

Russell was introduced to the Amuka Foundation after meeting Kath on a cruise to Australia in 2017. Russell is a qualified Accountant and also runs a successful Health & Wellbeing Company – FitForLifeUk Ltd – in the UK. Russell is passionate about improving the health and wellbeing of people in the UK through his business and in Kenya through the Amuka foundation.

Russell visited Kenya in January 2019 to witness the work of the Amuka foundation first hand. Whilst visiting he experienced a wide range of the projects that the foundation offers to communities across Kenya including girl empowerment groups; after school clubs and ECD programs.

During his visit to Kenya Russell agreed to sponsor a 5 year old boy from Ngando through his entire education and intends to also support another child from Kibera through their education. Russell is especially passionate about ensuring equal access to quality education for children in Kenya.

In addition, Russell will act as the finance manager for the foundation and he will also provide mentorship to staff and other trustees on financial matters. Russell is excited to offer his services and further contribute to the success of the Amuka foundation

Kenyan Team


Peter Leitemu
(Board Chairperson)

Peter is a graduate of BSc. Technology in Knowledge Management from the Technical University of Kenya (TUK) and a current student of MA in Project Management from Nairobi University. He is now doing his thesis. Peter also has a Higher Diploma in Information Management and a Diploma in Information Studies.

As a Branch Manager, Peter worked for 18 years with National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF) in different parts of the country. He is currently the manager for NHIF Marsabit Branch.

Peter is committed and passionate about making sure the marginalized communities are well represented and their voices heard. He was appointed as the Chairperson for the Kenya based Amuka Board of Trustees.


Mary Lemaro
(Board Treasurer)

Mary has a background in Social Work and Development. She worked at the Postal Corporation of Kenya as a data entry clerk for close to 3 years. Mary now works as a Community Health Assistant Officer (CHAs) based in Karare Catholic dispensary.

She is also involved with other community development projects mainly those concerning the empowerment of women and girls.

Mary learnt about Amuka through Ellie a few years ago. She was later appointed to the Board of Amuka Kenyan based Trustees as the treasurer due to her previous experience with empowerment programs.


Antonella Lobura
(Community Representative)

Antonella is a nurse by profession as well as a counselling psychologist having 20 years of work experience in both the medical field and community programs. Antonella is currently, the nominated MCA for Samburu County, representing women interests in the County assembly. Antonella is passionate and committed in making sure womens interests are well represented, especially the pastoralist women in Kenya. In most forums she has been advocating and creating awareness on FGM, GBV and HIV/AIDs.

Antonella was elected to the Board of Trustees for Amuka Foundation as a Community Representative.


Samwel Mwayi Mbewa
(Board Member)

Samwel is a graduate of Bsc. Community Development from Egerton University and a current student of MA in Gender and Development from UoN. Samwel also has professional certifications in Gender Poverty and Development and Participatory Rural Appraisal from Egerton University.

Samwel has held several positions in several organizations including, M&E Officer, Gender officer, Partnerships and grants officer, Programs Manager at several organizations including SHOFCO, Destined Youth, Better Chance Initiative and IHOPEE International.

Currently, Samwel is part of the team spearheading the implementation of the US state sponsored Community Together Initiative-a project aimed at increasing the collaboration between the community and law enforcement as a means of Countering Violent Extremist Ideologies. Samwel is passionate about creating safe spaces within marginalised communities which is why he is a member of the board of Amuka.


Lizza Sariyon Neepe
(Board Member)

Lizza is a graduate of Bachelor of Arts (Gender and Development Studies) from University of Nairobi. Born and brought up in Karare, Marsabit County, Lizza possesses vast knowledge about the community. Lizza has previously worked with two projects:

BOMA Project; aimed at improving livelihood of women in Marsabit County by providing them with training, mentorship programs in small businesses and providing funds to start and increase their businesses.

Green Cross Organisation; aimed to raise awareness in community about preservation of environment in the year 2015.

Lizza has excellent skills, knowledge and great passion for female empowerment, gender equity and community development programs. Lizza learnt about Amuka Foundation from its founder Ellie, and due to their shared passion and love for female empowerment programmes was appointed as one of the Board members for Amuka.

Lizza admires women who have the heart to support the vulnerable in the community such like Ellie, who through Amuka Foundation has been able to equip, empower and enable the women and girls in Karare with needed knowledge and skills in sewing and mentorship programs.

John Upane
(Community Representative)

John has a background in Peace and Justice. He did a course in Advocacy at Catholic Mission in Karare. John holds several positions in the Karare community including; secretary of the land committee, secretary of the market committee, chairperson of the Community Forest Association and chairperson of the Child Fund Kenya Karare region. He is always on the front line to ensure community issues are addressed to the concerned authorities.

John learnt about Amuka Foundation from Ellie and Steve, first during its inception in Karare. He is happy about Amuka projects and supports the work of Amuka in Karare.

Rosalia Kame
(Board Member)

Rosalia is a teacher by profession, currently the Head Teacher for Loruko Primary School, Karare. A position she has held for the last two years. Loruko Primary will have their ever first STD 8 Candidates sitting for Kenya Certificate of Primary Education at the end of this year.

As Head Teacher her working relationship started with the Amuka Foundation in 2017. Since then the school has benefited immensely from the support ranging from funds to repair classrooms and latrines, erect guttering to harvest water, and support of the ECD class. The Amuka Foundation has provided donations of uniforms, educational materials, playing materials and sanitary products to the school.

Early this year Amuka established the Girls Mentorship Program with 15 girls from Loruko enrolled to the program. Rosalia welcomed this initiative and its focus on improving the attendance and performance of the girls as well as their self-confidence. Rosalia looks forward to continue working with the Foundation and is committed to supporting the projects undertaken at the school.

Daniel Lekesike
(Board member)

Daniel Lekesike is the Head teacher for Lakartinya Primary School. He is very thankful to the Amuka Foundation for their ongoing support and donations to Lakartinya Primary School. Their partnership started 2 years ago and during that time children at the school have benefited from donations of school uniforms, shoes, educational materials and sports equipment.

Daniel is in full support of the Girls Mentorship Program which the Amuka Foundation started earlier this year at Lakartinya Primary School. Twelve girls have been enrolled onto the program.

The support for the Lakartinya ECD class is one of the most notable contributions that the school receives from Amuka. Daniel is very positive and supports the Foundations work within the school

Charles Orre
(Board member)

Charles Orre is a retired military officer from Kenya Army where he served for 31 years. After his retirement Charles returned to Karare and focused on taking care of his livestock; where later he started his own retail shop in Karare town. Currently, he is the chairperson for a local self-help community group whose mission is to uplift the lives of pastoralists within his neighborhood through table banking initiative.

As a Community Elder Charles inspires many to embrace change and send their children to school. All of his children have gone to school and he even has a son working abroad!

Charles was introduced to Amuka early this year. Having learnt about Amuka Foundation, he accepted to join the team as one of the board members for Amuka Kenyan based Trustees.

Ann Lesayaya
(Board Vice Secretary )

Ann has been a cook at Bishop Cavallera Girls High School, Karare for the last 6 years. She is proud and feels positive about her job. As a local farmer Ann grows maize, beans and vegetables mainly for home consumption. She is also involved in bead work.

Ann is honored to be the Vice Secretary of Amuka Kenyan Based Trustees. She believes that when people work together for a common cause that change is inevitable.