Meet the people behind books that aim to change young lives with education and thought.
Founder and editor
Safia Shah is the youngest daughter of Idries Shah and the founder and director of Kashfi’s Children. She has worked with Afghan refugees in Pakistan, as a newsroom journalist for Associated Press Television and as a consultant for the Idries Shah Foundation. Safia is committed to providing illustrated teaching stories to disadvantaged children throughout the world. She named her non-profit after her mother Kashfi, who was incapable of passing by a child in need.
Rachana Devidayal Shah
Rachana Devidayal Shah is a designer who is passionate about harnessing the rich artistic background of her Indian heritage. Having grown up in Mumbai, she has been influenced by the pace of life and by the tropical seasons on the margins of the Arabian Sea. She has travelled widely and incorporates what she has experienced on these travels into her design.
Latin American project coordinator
As the eldest grandchild of Idries Shah, Archie grew up listening to stories from Central Asia and the Middle East. He is passionately committed to the environment and is studying marine biology. His studies and duties at Kashfi’s Children have taken him to Latin America, where he has spent a great deal of time researching projects which are bringing education to some of the region’s poorest children.
Mexican project leader
Stephanie is an educator, artist and writer based in Mexico City. She has worked with street children, prisoners and families to promote learning as a route out of adversity. Married to an Englishman, Stephanie splits her time between the United Kingdom and Mexico.
Sophie Rouffiac is an educator with over 30 years’ experience. Born in France, and brought up in the UK, Sophie has traveled widely and taught in France and the Caribbean, as well as in England, where she now lives. She has four children and two dogs and passionately believes that education is the key to changing young lives.
Laetitia Bermejo was born in Leeds, UK, to French-Spanish parents. She studied fine art at London’s Slade School of Fine Art in the 1980s, having always wanted to draw, paint and make things. Laetitia attributes this passion to having fallen in love with Hieronymous Bosch on a trip to the Prado Museum when she was 7 years old. She moved to Mallorca in 1990 and has lived there ever since, painting, drawing, making things and swimming. Laetitia loves to travel when she can afford to. She illustrated Oinkink for Kashfi’s Children.
Tanja Stevanović is an illustrator and maker of things. She was born in Zagreb, Croatia; graduated from various art schools in Belgrade, Serbia; and is now in the process of making herself at home in Germany. Tanja’s artwork is influenced by nature, vintage illustrated books, weird toys, bizarre antique knickknacks and all sorts of oddities she manages to dig up during her regular visits to flea markets. She has taken part in numerous local and international art exhibitions and has illustrated a number of children’s books, including The Bird’s Relative for Kashfi’s Children.
At school, Silvara was always keen on drawing, and decorating her notebooks with doodles while paying attention to her teachers. She noticed that doodling made it easier for her to focus. After attending and graduating from several schools, Silvara decided to follow her restless creative heart and made illustrating books her mission in life. She firmly believes that literacy and the right to education are of utmost importance to make the world a better place for everyone. Silvara illustrated The Spoiled Boy With the Terribly Dry Throat for Kashfi’s Children.
Born in Kerala, India Prashant Miranda now lives in British Columbia, Canada, where his studio looks out on to the Pacific Ocean. Prash believes that books are immensely powerful. He volunteered for 13 years with World Literacy Canada, which took him to work with women and children in rural India.
“I am constantly seeing people connected by stories and seeing the power and beauty of stories, and how they help us find similarities between ourselves rather than differences.”