Riyaa Vakharia: Story of my small venture

“Firstly, I am Riyaa, a high school student pursuing an International Baccalaureate diploma at the prestigious International School Manila. With a deep passion to pursue a career in the field of STEM, my academic life is full of adventures in the subjects of Science and Maths. Meanwhile, my non-academic life is full of adventures in discovering this glorious planet. I am a high altitude trekker who has scaled three peaks in the majestic Himalayas and am also a PADI certified diver, which allows me to perform ocean dives independently.

I never realized that what started as just a hobby during my summer holidays in Grade 10 would help me find true meaning to life. I underwent a certification course in pastry and chocolate making from the wonderful Academy of Pastry and Culinary Arts Philippines. My convocation, though a simple ceremony of receiving a certificate, was highly emotional for me. The dream I had nurtured since childhood, when I used to play with toy utensils and pretend to be a cook, finally came true.

I was excited but I also felt incomplete.

On the way back home I saw a graffiti: “But whoever has the world’s goods, and sees his brother in need and closes his heart against him, how does the love of God abide in him?” – 1 John 3:17.

It was a spark, a jolt.

I began to understand the void that I felt and wasted no time to start my venture, “Riyaa’s Chocolates.” Determined with the cause, I decided to donate 100% of the profits to the needy. My aim was to bring a smile to the face of the person who ate my handcrafted artisan chocolates and the child who would benefit from the proceeds.

Not knowing how to proceed further, I consulted a few people, who unequivocally suggested that I work with World Vision.

Not knowing much, I quickly scraped through their website and social media footprints. I was truly amazed to see the wonderful work that this organization and its partners are doing. I tried hard to elude the thought that while I was living a protected and comfortable life, there were so many people who were relentlessly working to serve the community, who needs and truly deserves the same comfort.

Today, over a year later, not a day goes by when I don’t feel a sense of gratitude to the people who connected me with World Vision. The steps that I am taking are tiny but the promises and desire are quite large.”


Riyaa Vakharia of International School Manila is one of World Vision’s recognized student fundraisers. She has been using her craft and business for the benefit of children and their education. World Vision has high hopes for the next generation that seeks to help the most vulnerable children and families.
For those who want to be a Student Fundraiser like Riyaa, please email: lyca_caparros@wvi.org