A Word from IPI President Karambu Ringera
2015 was a year of many possibilities. Unlike 2014 that proved to be challenging because of the state of national insecurity, we hope 2015 will be a year of progress, more peace and hope. I am thankful to all our friends and partners for their generous support of various activities and initiatives at IPI and KACH.
At International Peace Initiatives, we carried out many women's empowerment projects that spanned the 2014/2015 year. See stories on pages 4,5,6 &7 In the same vein, we had grants from the Evans Cornish Trust and Brilig Trust both of U.K through Ecologia Youth Trust, our Scottish partner, that enabled us to run some important young women's skills development courses through our Youth Polytechnic. The courses include tailoring, hairdressing, catering and ICT.
IPI's approach to sustainable peace and development is systems-based and holistic. Thus sustainable peacebuilding initiatives have been a focus of IPI's work over the years. Many sustainable peace and development programs have been borne from our peace congresses. The Chure Women's Community Based Organization (CBO) is one such entity that has done a lot for the community in Meru South through women's, men's and youth empowerment projects as well as support for children in need. In addition, IPI is partnering with the Sustainable Peacebuilding and Development program at the University of Wisconsin in Milwaukee to enhance and expand the experience of masters students taking the Master of Sustainable Peacebuilding degree. The team gifted KACH with children's clothes, stationery and other items.
In 2015, we continue our collaboration and partnership with the MichiKen team from the University of Michigan. The medical team will carry out a dental clinic with KACH children and staff. Rama of E-magine will also install a system donated by MichiKen that will enable KACH kids to Skype with sponsors and other friends of IPI and KACH. Additionally, MichiKen donated diverse items to KACH.
At IPI, we have two volunteers this year - Enoch Owino who holds a bachelor's degree in Journalism from Chuka University, Meru, Kenya and Rita Togba who holds a Bachelor's degree in Development Studies and African Studies, School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London. Rita came to us through-out he Ecologia Youth Trust/IPI Volunteers program . You can read about this program at https://www.ecologia.org.uk/get-involved/ Enoch is working as our marketing and social networks developer in partner-ship with the UW Milwaukee team; while Rita loves to work with children and women.
At the Kithoka Amani Children's Home (KACH), we have been able to build a multi-purpose block to serve as a business premise for hairdressing, weaving and a shop. We hope to use these opportunities to build our finan-cial sustainability dream in the coming years.
Caring for the environment and learning how to produce organic food has been a project of Tiriji for some time now. Tiriji is a project of IPI that aims to train people in the community how to develop and sustain successful food sovereignty projects. Tiriji means "a place of abundance". At Tiriji we hope to create a training center for peace and permaculture through the Integrated Land Use Design (ILUD) approach. ILUD is a holistic approach of creating food sovereignty through an integrated approach to farming; where farmers are encouraged to grow "food forests" instead of mono-cropping.
At IPI we believe that peace is not merely the absence of war, rather it is when people have access to resources that enable them to meet their basic needs. Therefore, our approach is to develop a model that others can learn from so that together we can reclaim our place as stewards of our earth; regenerate our ecosystems; build resilience for our people and communities; and help build transformative approaches to sustainable peacebuilding and development for our continent.
Read More about IPI Kenya in the 2015 Newsletter, Tamasha La Amani.