Speakers on 24th Nov – Conference
1) Virginia Nyaga (coach Vie) (Cooking demo of without stove food)
Virginia Nyaga – The Happiness Alchemist – is a Certified Success Coach and Pranic Healer. She specializes in Wellness Coaching. Wellness encompasses 6 areas of life – Health, Business / Career, Relationships, Finances, Emotions and Spirituality. She coaches her clients to make positive changes in these areas of their lives through detoxing / cleansing through juicing programs, bespoke coaching programs, cooking classes and pranic healing (an energy healing modality) with the intension of getting you to your True happiness.
Virginia is also a media personality, appearing on K24’s Alfajiri Show where she demonstrates how to prepare vegan dishes and educates on the value of adopting a more plant based diet especially when one is dealing with a Lifestyle / Chronic disease such as diabetes, high blood pressure, cancer, etc. She has also appeared on KTN’s Life and Style Show, KBC’s Good Morning Kenya and also has a YouTube Channel.
Virginia is the founder of Newrishment, Co-founder of The Back To Nature Movement and Co-founder of Weza Capital (A Business Growth Incubator).
Virginia’s mission in life is “To Heal the World One Person at a Time”.
Facebook: newrishmentcoach / Twitter: newrishmentkoch / Instagram: coachvie / Youtube: Virginia Nyaga
2) Taruri Gatere (Life coach)
Tarurî Gatere began her vegan journey in 2011 while she was studying a short fashion course in Florence, Italy. She stumbled upon the PETA website and found a 2 week vegan challenge which left her feeling healthier than ever before. Upon returning to Kenya later on that year, she struggled to remain vegan and found herself going back to animal products but she never forgot how good she felt on a vegan diet. In 2013 she went back on her vegan journey and with new determination to stay the course she began a blog called The Kenyan Vegan where she shared her trials and explorations in the kitchen. She was committed to keeping her vegan diet as fun, delicious and interesting as possible. In 2017 she changed The Kenyan Vegan to Freegan Soul and began to hold cookouts selling vegan food and in 2018 she began to do some small scale catering.
Tarurî Gatere is also a practicing Life Coach and occasional designer.
3) Khilan shah (Bhakti Marga Kenya)
Madhusudanadas (Khilan Shah) is a devotee, husband, father, working professional and also the current Rotary Kenya Country Chair. He was initiated as an Atma Kriya Yoga teacher for Kenya, in 2014, by his Satguru Paramahamsa Sri Swami Vishwananda – an enlightened spiritual Master, a Kriya yoga Master and the founder of Bhakti Marga Kenya. With the continuous practice of Atma Kriya Yoga over many years, he has and continues to experience profound and positive inner transformations, something he really wants everyone to discover within themselves, ultimately leading to a living experience of unconditional Love in our daily living. He teaches Atma Kriya Yoga, Mudras, Simply Meditation, Project Mantra, and conducts Om Chanting circles and related practices during his spare time on the weekends and evenings.
4) Cynthia Schuck (IVU)
Mini-Bio: Cynthia has a PhD from Oxford University in Animal Cognition/Evolutionary Biology and two postdocs: one at Oxford, and another on the evolution of advanced cognition and the conditions for its emergence. She was the co-founder and scientific director (2005–2017) of a consulting company in the field of global health, sustainability, and data analysis in the life sciences. Since 2015, she is the scientific coordinator, and coordinator of the environment Department, of the Brazilian Vegetarian Society. She is also a council member at the International Vegetarian Union.
Talk: The global impact of animal agriculture
5) WANJIRU MAHIHU (Baraka Roses)
She is currently the Marketing Director of Baraka Roses. They grow Roses for Export to mainly Europe, Asia and Middle East. Previously she has worked in Liaison Insurance Group, Bahari Beach Hotel, SDV Transami and Mitchell Cotts Freight Limited. She has gained over 20 years experience in Marketing and logistics.She holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in International Business Administration and French from Franklin College, Switzerland.She is also a Board member of Bahari Beach hotel, Thiomi Group and FC Talanta, a youth talent development program supported by Unicef, CCK and Ministry of youth affairs and sports.
Topic: How to grow organic produce and the business
6) Ady Namaran Coulibaly (Côte d’Ivoire)
Ady Namaran Coulibaly is the editor of Health Africa Magazine (a bilingual plant-based diet and environment magazine) and the Executive Director of Ghana Humane Society, an animal-welfare and environment NGO. She is also an interpreter and translator. She has been leading the Meatless Monday campaign in Ghana and carries out vegan advocacy. Her aspiration is to see veganism becoming the norm in all corners of Africa.
She will be speaking on ‘One health, one welfare’. This topic essentially aims to shed light on the relationship between the health of the planet and that of humans and animals, focusing on the role of alternative food systems.
7) MARY MUTHONI MURIUKI (KNCCI)
Mary Muthoni Muriuki is the 1st Female Director (Women & Gender) at the Kenya National Chambers of Commerce & Industry (KNCCI) and the Founding & Executive Director of St-Petroc Premier School and Chairs its Board. She serves as the Chairperson Women In Business Kenya and Champions trade & gender inclusion in the private sector and public sector through establishment of WomenIn Business Kenya (KNCCI-WIB).
Her contributions have received recognition from the Kenya Council of Governors making her the holder of the 2017 Devolution Warrior Award, due to her role in Promoting WomenEmpowerment in Delivery of Public Service particularly in championing women’s access to Government Procurement Opportunities (AGPO).
Mary is the founder of the Women in Business Magazine, and the 1st ever Women in Business Awards Kenya. She is currently working on a project; WOMEN IN BUSINESS MASHINANI (Grassroots). She sits in the Tobacco Control Board of Kenya and is a director in the African Women in Business Alliance. She was noted to be among the 6 most influential women in Kenya for 2017. Current holder of the Africa Business leaders award in regards to gender.
Mary has also engaged in high level trade dialogues in various Global, National and County Level forums on topics touching on Women in Trade and leadership in business such as EMPRETEC, International Trade Centre, Barclays partnership launch #SheTrades and other BMO workshops. She advocates for Women inclusivity in Trade during High level Trade Expert & Stakeholder meetings such as UNCTADS Expert Meeting on Gender and Trade in Geneva, Switzerland, Inclusive trade and digital economy, TICAD and HLM2. She represented the country in IORA Workshop in April 2018 to Strengthen Women’s Economic Empowerment in the Indian Ocean – Preparations for the Ministerial Conference and Working Group.Further, Mary has headed the British Council Program for Schools and appointed to represent the Sub Saharan countries together with the lead Kenyan Music group; Sauti Sol in London (Corn Wall). She sits in a number of National Boards and holds a Bachelor of Education from Catholic University and completed her Masters of Business Administration (MBA) Management and Marketing.
Mary is married with four children. The family is an integral institution and has been her anchor in all she does.
8) Victor Sjodin (Vegan Outreach)
Victor Sjodin is the Vice President of College Outreach and International Expansion at the NGO Vegan Outreach, which reaches several million students with the vegan message each year through grassroots activism. Victor has promoted veganism at over 700 universities and in done activism in 17 countries. He aspires to collaborate with local activists to start more systematic sharing of the veg message with college students in Kenya. Victor will speak about why and how Vegan Outreach strategically reaches students with the vegan message and relate some tactics he uses when discussing the issue with people around the globe. You can find out more about the work of Vegan Outreach at www.VeganOutreach.org.
VeganOutreach.org / Vice President of College Outreach and International Expansion
9) Vedanti Ben (Brahma Kumari – Africa)
Sister Vedanti, a woman of vision, resilience, courage and determination – balanced with a humble and loving nature, is the Regional Director of the Brahma Kumaris in Africa. She was born in India and after graduating from Gujarat University with a Bachelors Degree in Philosophy and Psychology, she dedicated her life to the teachings and work of the Brahma Kumaris. Although based in India, she held the vision that the spiritual teachings of the Brahma Kumaris knowledge is valuable for people of all cultures and traditions. She felt deeply, that the foundation of spirituality is what unifies people, all differences can be overcome and people can live more fulfilled lives. In 1974 she accepted the challenge to come to Africa, to establish centres of meditation and spiritual learning.
In 2004 Sr Vedanti became a member of the Africa Board & Executive committee of the Serve Africa Project, an initiative of the Brahma Kumaris to offer their services to all countries within Africa. Within 2 years 40 countries were visited and centres established in majority of the countries. To many what seemed as an impossible task, Sister Vedanti embraced with deep faith, courage and compassion. During these times she faced many challenges, however the resilience she inspired in her team was through her example of remaining stable, calm and resourceful. It is these qualities that have encouraged the large team of volunteers in Africa to contribute and be part of this ongoing continent wide initiative.
In 2012, as Kenya was preparing for their general elections, Sr Vedanti initiated the Write to God Project. It was a simple call to people to take a moment to reflect, connect with God, and write a letter of hope for peace.
The project was well received by the people of Kenya, and offered a way to approach the elections with peace. Many were moved by this initiative and so the project has been taken to several other African countries. A book has been printed reflecting the beautiful and moving letters from politicians, religious leaders, to ordinary women, men and children. It clearly reflects that at the heart of each person, our deepest desire is for peace and happiness.
10) Rukma prabhuji (Iskcon Nairobi)
Borned in Kenya in1954. He joined Iskcon in 1980 and served in many departments in various capacities and eventually joined full time as a monk in 2017. He preaches Bhagavad GITA in in English, Hindi, Gujarati, Kiswahili along with congregation Krishna bhakti. Currently he is serving as Vice chairman and trustee of Iskcon in Nairobi. He has 3 children and 5 grandchildren.
His main focus is to counsel people who want to give up meat, alcohol, gambling. He is a certified priest and bhakti shastri diploma holder.
11) Jessika Ava (ProVeg)
Jessika Ava is the Grants Program Director for ProVeg International, a food awareness organization with a mission to reduce global consumption of animals by 50% by the year 2040. Jessika’s niche lies in coordinating global projects, statistically analyzing project efficacy, and guiding philanthropic support. Her notable experience includes NGO management, grantmaking, biostatistics, Asian street animal welfare, and Indian elephant conservation, and she has over 10 years’ experience in vegan advocacy. She holds an MPA in Nonprofit Management and an MS in Biostatistics and sits as Board Chair of Help Animals India and Out to Pasture Animal Sanctuary.
She will be speaking on: How to advance vegan advocacy efforts in African countries
12) Nyakinyua Chege (Africa Yoga Project)
Nyakinyua is a trained Counselling psychologist, a yoga Instructor and the current Academy assistant with Africa Yoga Project (AYP).
She stumbled upon the practice of yoga in 2011 through AYP and has since seen radical and immense changes occur in her life on a physical, mental and emotional level. She is constantly evolving through the practice and loves nothing more than to share her experience and knowledge with all, including the amazing testimonies of the role diet has played in all this.
Having grown up on a farm, she was an avid lover of animals. Add this to the non-violent philosophies emphasized in yoga and it becomes clear how healthy, organic eating was her destiny.
When she isn’t transforming the lives of her clients through her teaching and compassionate counselling, she can be found pouring her love into the delicious smoothies she makes.
13) Amy Rapp (TNR Trust)
Amy grew up on a game farm in Indiana, so her lifelong association with animals started at a very early age. Her horses ran with the zebra, camels, buffalo and llama. Amy was nearly kicked out of kindergarten for telling her classmates the story of watching her Vet castrate a stud horse while she watched in the barnyard. The kindergarten administration felt it was unsuitable and unladylike knowledge for a 5 year old as she was using correct anatomical terminology! Amy participated in 4-H with her horse and pony. Amy’s family bred and raised working Australian Shepherds. She was also an active 4 year member of Future Farmers of America. Amy learned to judge crops, beef and dairy cattle as well as horses. After high school, and failing to get a place at the prestigious Purdue University Vet School Amy went to work for Radisson Hotels while attending IUPUI in Indianapolis, she then moved from The Radisson Plaza Hotel and Suites at Keystone at the Crossing, Indianapolis IN to the Radisson Mark Plaza Hotel in Alexandria, VA. Amy then became one of the 15 expatriates selected to move to Moscow, working on the opening team of the first American managed hotel in the Soviet Union, the Radisson Slavjanskaya Hotel. She was recruited by Ambassador Pickering, the American Ambassador to Russia as his Estate Manager at Spaso House. Amy oversaw all events at the residence and dachas, including 7 visits of the US President and Vice President. After a 15 year career in Hospitality Management, Amy took off her high heels and serious suits to return to her roots to work extensively with the Labrador Retriever Club of the Potomac (a rescue started by ethical Labrador breeders) in VA, USA where she trained foster dogs and helped many dogs overcome behavioral issues. She also raised puppies for the CETC (Canine Enforcement Training Center) in Front Royal VA. Five of the 6 puppies she raised went on to detect drugs and currency for US Customs. Amy has been in Kenya since 2006 where she found the East African Kennel Club just days after her arrival and she has been an active member ever since. She also belongs to the Labrador Retriever Club of Kenya and the Ladies Kennel Association. She teaches the Wednesday morning socialization class for the Labrador Club, the beginner’s obedience class on Saturday afternoons run by the German Shepard Dog League and has recently stared teaching a communication class for the Kenya Police Dog Section for the new dog handling recruits. Amy has worked with the staff at the KSPCA to train dogs for their annual Shaggy Dog show so that they may showcase dogs that are up for adoption. In 2008 Amy started Custom Made K-9 Supply making handmade leather, professional quality leashes and working gear for security dogs as well as companion dogs.
Amy brought her only “failed” US Customs dog, a yellow bitch, named Cindy from the US in 2006. Sadly Cindy died in 2011. Amy currently has a quirky, lovable and loyal local dog (Kamau) that was born feral in Karura Forest and came into her yard as a puppy in 2007 when she lived next door to Karura. She also has a handsome, and long awaited 2 year old Pedigree Rottweiler (Duffy) .
In her free time, Amy is working alongside well known Kenyan artists to produce a children’s coloring/activity book that is intended to be educational for primary age schoolchildren. Its aim is to educate children about how to take good care of their animals especially dogs. She is also starting TNR to complement the work of the KSPCA (Trap, Neuter and Release) program for stray cats and a few dogs that qualify.
14) Darshana Parekh (Freelance chef)
Darshana Parekh is a Commerce graduate, but since childhood at 10 years been keenly interested And Passionate about cooking. She has done some pocket friendly demonstrations on cooking in which you get all easily available ingredients in your kitchen, plus demo on Hotel Etiquette and Table manners . Apart from cooking she is associated with Various organisations and love doing social service “Give back to society
She believes “U EAT WITH YOUR EYES FIRST” and so the food should be presentable and indeed delicious. Currently she does Fresh vegetarian/ Vegan cooking from home and cater make to order, but purely fresh vegetarian cooking.
15) Chetna Desai (Freelance chef)
She is born and brought up in India and settled in Kenya since last 34 years. Cooking is her passion, started cooking at the early age of 8 years.
She has performed more than 110 cooking demonstrations all across Kenya. She is also running cooking classes at various locations and has performed TV show for 6 months with Susan Kamau. She is currently chairperson in Giants Twiga in Nairobi, International liaison officer for Giants International, active member in SNVM, SVVM, Pallav and Religious and cultural directorate in HCK.
16) Sheila Otieno (Yoga teacher Hatha Yoga)
She is a qualified yoga teacher, certified by the British wheel of Yoga UK, and Radiant Child Yoga. She teaches kids yoga, prenatal and postnatal yoga, teaches Hatha yoga, does Thai yoga massage, She is a certified Journey practitioner has a degree in community development from St. Paul’s university and a mother of two.
17) Nitin Dawar (Art of Living)
Nitin Dawar is Art of Living’s international faculty, Yoga teacher & an eminent singer. An MBA in finance with decade of successful corporate career with top MNCs, Nitin is now dedicated to serve the society through his motivational skills & music. He teaches Art of Living’s Happiness Program, Wellness Program, Corporate programs, Youth Empowerment & Yoga program. Also a graduate in India classical music, he is a composer, writer, guitarist & a live performer with many music albums to his credit.
After attending the Art of Living workshop in the year 2008, Nitin experienced a transformation within & an urge to serve the humanity. The first meeting with the founder of the Art of Living, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, inspired him & gave a vision for his life forward. After completing the teacher’s training in the year 2009, he bid adieu to his corporate life & embarked upon a journey of self discovery & service. He now travels across the globe to teach various programs.
In India, Nitin is considered a youth icon for his substantial role in the historic “India Against Corruption” movement initiated by Sri Sri, Anna Hazare & other notable social activists of India in 2011. As a core member of the movement he has written, composed & sung many patriotic & motivational songs which became the anthems across the country. He had been a guest celebrity singer in Zee TV’s popular show “Sa Re Ga Ma Pa”. His very popular theme songs for big social movements i.e. ‘Yamuna River cleaning’ and ‘Clean Delhi Drive’ became household names & brought people on the ground to work enthusiastically thus proving that music can unite people for a cause.
Nitin has worked extensively in African continent in countries like Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Nigeria, Malawi etc. He initiated ‘Smile Africa’ – a workshop to inculcate health, wellness, yoga, meditation, breathing techniques, fitness & music into the lives of local residents of Africa. ‘Smile Africa’ has gained popularity with thousands of youth joining & getting benefits out of it.
Nitin’s vision is to spread peace & humanity to the whole World & helping people live a stress free & healthy life.
18) Katya – European food with desert
19) Miki Haimovitch (Vegan Nation)