shamiri institute

Rethinking mental health for Africa's youth

Shamiri Institute is a data-driven public benefit organization that uses cutting edge social science research and a deep contextual knowledge of the communities that it works with to build a future where young people can actualize their life potential. Shamiri means "thrive" in Kiswahili.

Because mental health prevents many young people from realizing their life outcomes, Shamiri's current priority is to develop and implement tools that improve the mental health and wellbeing of Africa's youths.

Tom leads Shamiri's effort to expand its impact across Africa where half the population is 19 years or younger.

cultural agents

Embracing the role of art in the world

Cultural Agents is a platform for academics, artists, community leaders, and active citizens in general. It is an invitation to revive a long humanistic tradition that combines arts and research in the service of civic development.

Change requires imagination, thinking like an artist, so we learn from exemplary creative agents and share lessons that can challenge stale paradigms with artful alternatives. The purpose is both intellectual and social. Thinking and doing go together.

As part of this initiative, Tom is leading the roll-out of Pre-Texts, an arts-based protocol that stimulates literacy, innovation, and citizenship, with a single prompt: Use a text as material to make art and reflect on the process.

decolonize the mind

Fulfilling the potential of Africa's youth

As a mental health pioneer, Tom co-founded the Shamiri Institute to provide world class mental health to Sub-Saharan Africa’s youths.  

As a clean energy pioneer, Tom co-founded GreenChar when he was only 18. GreenChar provided thousands of families in rural Kenya that depended on dirty wood-fuels (like Tom’s) with affordable clean energy.

A celebrated entrepreneur in Sub-Saharan Africa, Tom has built organizations that lift the communities that he cares about.


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