Our board

In addition to Cyprian, Jackie, and Agnes, our board of directors includes – and benefits from the help of – three additional giving and capable people: Sandi, Tracey and Sharon. In addition, we are supported in Australia by Donna.

Sandi Carlile – board member

I have travelled to all continents and over 80 countries. A 10-month, 26 country overland trip in Africa in 1994 changed my life forever: Africa and its people captured my heart and never let go. Since 2003 I have spent six to seven months per year in Kenya.

My involvement with Eating Stone began in 2009 when I met the founder and vision bearer, Dr Cyrian Lumumba. Since then, I have seen a phenomenal transition as the Children’s Home has gone from strength to strength and the Wisdom Academy primary school was established. I’ve also seen enormous challenges, heartbreak and setbacks.

My main focus is raising funds to support the ongoing needs of the Eating Stone family.

I am a mother, and was a full-time homemaker for 18 years, raising my two daughters and two sons. I was a community activist for almost three decades, lobbying governments to eliminate discrimination against women and promote equality for women. I have worked (full- and part-time) for more than a decade delivering women’s programming.

I have worked as a travel agent, and also co-owned a guest house and safari company in Nairobi, Kenya from 2005 to 2012.

Tracey Farleigh – board member & chairperson

I first visited Kenya in 2008 as part of a trip to a previous orphanage I supported. After what was supposed to be an one-off experience, I returned every year, occasionally twice a year! In the early days this was as part of a Safari visit but then my close friend John Forsythe and I began to spend longer periods of time at the orphanage. This became our and their annual holiday always in November/December as a pre-Christmas visit. Our last visit there was in 2017 and in December 2018 we found ourselves being introduced to Eating Stone through Susan Rahn who we had met on previous Kenya trips. I shall be forever grateful to her!

On visiting Eating Stone in December 2018 we knew that this was a home we wanted to support; the ethos being so perfect and we particularly loved the way the home is truly preparing children for adulthood. On returning to the UK we set up the “UK Friends of Eating Stone” support group and set about raising funds for the home. We were unable to visit Kenya in 2019 but continued fund raising for the needs of the home and children, and the home was never far from our thoughts and chats.

2020 was an awful year, not just because of the global pandemic, but also because John passed away very unexpectedly in May. In his memory and also because I want to, I am continuing to support Eating Stone alongside the UK support group and have recently been so proud and honoured to be asked to join the board.

In addition to my interest in Kenya and its people, I am a trustee for two UK charities: Motherwell Cheshire CIO (supporting female mental health) and Wybunbury Tower (Heritage England building). I have worked for Barclays Bank Technology since 1985 and love my job! I live in Cheshire with my husband and son, the latter being a semi-professional footballer, so we have spent much of his life travelling to training and matches…and still do by choice. 

Sharon Small – board member

I met Sandi and Donna in the 1990s on a two-month overland bush camping trip. I was a naive New York City girl and had not had much experience camping. I nervously joined the group in Senegal, and it was incredible. Since that trip, I have visited over 60 countries, but that trip remains in my soul.

We have maintained our friendships since. For many years I was kept well informed of the various stages of development of Eating Stone and the work of its founder, the marvelous Dr. Cyprian.

My first trip to Kenya was on a safari in 2010 but my second trip was to visit my old friends and Eating Stone in 2018. Sandi, Donna, and I had not seen each other since the 1990s, but our camaraderie was as if it were yesterday.

They introduced me to their Eating Stone family. For me, it was love at first sight. The new school was immaculate and the dedication of the administrators and the teachers to the children was impressive. I was asked to join the board and help establish an Eating Stone USA division.

I was born in the United Kingdom but have resided in New York City for most of my life and have worked as a Business Project Manager for over 20 years in the finance industry. I have a Bachelor of Business (BBA) and majored in marketing, and a Master of Science (MS) and majored in management. I am currently an Independent Financial Advisor.

Next: The children’s essays on Covid-19