We had the pleasure of meeting Rhea and Neha at our Ten Year Anniversary event. The two sisters are using their talents to make a difference in their world. Rhea and Neha are passionate about music and they got to perform at our event in October. They wish to use their skills to support marginalized children so that they may also have access to opportuities they are grateful to have. Neha also spent her summer holidays painting and hopes the paintings donated to Dignitas will help raise funds to support children to recieve quality education. Get to know more about them from our interview:
Names, age and grade?
Rhea Shah is 15 Years and in Year 11. Neha Shah is 13 years and in Year 9. Both of them are at Peponi Secondary School.
Tell us about your passion for music, instruments you play and when you started learning?
Neha: I have been playing the piano since I was 5 and Violin since I was 6. I also sing.
Rhea: I have an extremely big passion for all styles of music! I play the drums, piano, saxophone, guitar and I sing of course. I started formal lessons in music at the age of 6 years.
Apart from the Dignitas Ten Year Anniversary event, where else have you shared your music?
Neha: We have participated in many events at school. I was in the Safaricom Youth Orchestra where I got to play for the President once. I also raised funds for Nairobi Hospice with a musical appeal.
Rhea: At school, our favourite activities include being in the orchestra and choir. I have reached the finals three years in a row in the Young Musicians of Kenya competition. I was also selected to go on a Composer’s week in the UK where I composed a Jazz piece for a professional band.
We have also played at Salama Gachie Community School to try and encourage music. We have both played in fundraiser concerts e.g. for the Butterfly Trust. We were lucky to get the opportunity, through our school, to play for Rotarians and a home for the elderly in Japan.
What’s one thing you are grateful for?
Rhea: Definitely our parents – who encourage us to share our music and talent with others, and teach us to be good-hearted and righteous when helping those in need.
Neha: And we have wonderful teachers who help us constantly improve our skills.
From your generosity, we believe that you have a clear interest to support and uplift others. Tell us about some of the goals you hope to accomplish in life through your talents and passion?
Neha: We hope to use our talents to try help people by raising awareness, by making them happy and by raising funds for good causes like Dignitas whenever we can.
Rhea: Probably helping as many children that we can by fundraising through our talent. This way, it will allow us to be creative, have fun and also improve lives. It also allows us to share time with other children from varying backgrounds and we all get to learn from each ther.
Dignitas is working to ensure that all children receive an excellent education, so they can thrive in life. As students yourselves, why do you think education is important?
Neha: Education is very important because children need to learn how to do basic things and develop themselves so that they can make a difference to their own lives and to the people around them.
Rhea: Without a good education, many children might not be able to reach their potential. Education helps us to think, analyse, innovate. It gives us confidence and teaches us how to work with others. All children deserve a right to education and deserve to get the same opportunities. Your work is so important!
The art pieces donated were remarkable. How long does it take you to complete one piece and why did you decide to donate them to Dignitas for the event?
Neha: Thank you! The art pieces took a few hours for each painting. I spent a month during my holidays working on the paintings for Dignitas. My sister and I had visited Salama Gachie community school before our school holidays. We went there with Dr. Sheth and he also told us about Dignitas. That’s when I realized that I would really like to help more children have more opportunities in education. I then decided to donate my artwork to Dignitas.
You demonstrated a great act of giving by performing and donating the art pieces at our ten year anniversary event. What’s your take on giving and how would you encourage others to give during this season?
Rhea: Giving is 10,000 times better than taking and the amount of satisfaction that giving gives you is unexplainable. We are so humbled to be able to help Dignitas Project on your 10th Anniversary and hope we can continue to support for the wonderful work that you do. Imagine what a wonderful world it would be if each one of us did something little. I have learnt that you don’t have to be earning huge amounts to be able to help. Thank you for giving Neha and me the opportunity to perform and spread our message also.
Neha: The song we performed ‘Sisi Ni Moja’ shows that We are One. I want to show people that we all have feelings, we can all learn from each other, we can all do small things to help other people and we can all make a difference to each other’s lives.