Why Women Should Lead in Kenya by Dr. Karambu Ringera
May 30th, 2010
On May 18th, 2010 the University of Nairobi was closed indefinitely because of ‘post-student election violence.’ Even after the lessons of the 2007/2008 post election violence, it is amazing that university students, Kenya’s very-soon-to-be leaders, are choosing the way of violence to express themselves. Something is WRONG with this picture!
Fredah Kamene, from Meru Kenya, is a student in the IPI College Scholars Program (ICSP). She just completed her first year at Diablo Valley College, where she is earning straight A’s. She lives with her host family in Lafayette, CA.
On May 7-10, IPI participated in The New Living Expo, which is an exhibition that is annually held in San Francisco, aimed at bringing people together to attain global healing and peace. IPI had a booth of African jewelry and other things to sell. Dr. Ringera was a featured speaker. Working the expo was an eye opener! I realized all the hard work everyone puts out that enables me and others to be in school. I worked from Friday through Sunday from about 10:00am to 10:00pm. The expo was very energy draining and this showed me the value of sacrifice and commitment towards everything.
Though we did not sell as much as we had anticipated, we did clear our expenses and I believe we made good contacts with people and above all created awareness that IPI has had positive impact on many peoples' lives, including mine. I was able share my experience as one of the IPI college scholars with many visitors.
Thursday was the initial set up day, but I did not make it because I've classes from Monday through Thursday. Therefore Merry and Rebeccah Sturtz—members of my host family—and Dr. Karambu Ringera set up the booth. This saved me a lot of work!
On Friday we got to our booth at 10:20am and started uncovering the jewelry and dusting them off and pricing them. I went through all of them, each necklace, bracelet, and earring to make sure of the quality, and then folded and straightened the clothes and other items for sale. We had hundreds of items. It took some hours!
Most of the people who came to the booth really wanted to hear my life story and I shared my story with anyone who cared to hear. I was the cashier for the most of the day on Friday but Merry also chipped in. I got three breaks to make myself comfortable and that was it.
Dr. Karambu was quite busy with the many visitors to our booth and she got to make connections with some people and see others she knew before. At 9:00pm., she made a speech on "Inner Knowing as a Tool of Transformation." It was so powerful that many of the people who were there became quite emotional. Many in the audience identified themselves as one time or always using their inner power to reach goals in their lives. After the speech, an IPI supporter who had been to KACH came up. He said when he heard about the expo and saw that Dr. Karambu would be speaking he felt the urge to come.
After the presentation it was 10:00pm so we closed down the stand. On Saturday, we got to our booth at 9:25am, unpacked and arranged the display. I was the cashier for the day. I also got to fold and cut the IPI receipts because we did not have a paper cutter.
Dr. Karambu went from booth to booth talking to people about IPI. Aunt Silvia (of my host family) came at 6:30pm to volunteer and that’s when I went to get lunch. The people who Dr. Karambu talked with came to the booth and we sold many things to them. We worked the booth until 10pm.
On Sunday, the last day at the expo, we arrived at 9:00am, the day was similar to the others, except at 9:00pm we had to begin packing all the jewelry into specific boxes and carry them to the cars. It took us until 11:10pm. We were all so exhausted that by the time we got home I was dead asleep. I barely made it to bed without sleeping on the floor!
The Expo was an amazing experience. It was tremendously motivating to me because I got to see some of the jewelry that I designed exhibited internationally! The whole experience made me feel that although I might not be able to do much, the little I can do can benefit others. I realized that every small thing that we do aimed at making the world a better place counts.
May 17th, 2010
On May 7-10, IPI participated in The New Living Expo, which is an exhibition that is annually held in San Francisco, aimed at bringing people together to attain global healing and peace.