IPI Update – Progress, Partnerships & Possibilities

A Message from IPI Founder & President, Dr. Karambu Ringera

It is almost the end of 2023! I feel like the year has flown by, but in good ways! We have accomplished so much this year. As we sent the kids back to school in January, it dawned on me that so many of my little munchkins are now in high school or university! Our children have excelled because early on, I recognized the importance of education as a tool for advancing not just their academic life, but the totality of their lives – empowering the child holistically: mentally, spiritually, psychologically, physically, socially, and economically. This has helped our children to flourish in all areas of their lives and they have become agents of change wherever they go. We are always moving forward, making progress and the possibilities for our children are endless!

Our focus has been to support the KACH children to attain their highest academic dreams. Not many organizations do this. However, my view is that there is no need to support a child until they attain high school diploma and then their studies end there. My goal has been to do all I can to ensure that the kids either get a university degree or a post-high school skill that will help them get a job or create jobs by starting their own business.

In line with this, I am proud to report that this year we will hit our 57th graduate and many more skills-rich graduates. We have electrical and electronics engineers, plumbers, educators, nutritionists, computer programmers and technicians, fashion designers, international relations officers, gender studies experts, IT experts, hospitality technicians, journalists, nurses, animal health practitioners, university administrators, immigration personnel, accountants, marketers, economists, agriculturalists, architects, psychologists, political leaders, philanthropists, hair stylists, and the list goes on!

We are like a self-contained industry. When I have plumbing, electrical or constructions needs, I have within the IPI family someone who can do it for us. When I need an African dress made, or when we have a wedding, we have a fashion designer to do that for us. When I have guests, a KACH kid acts as a tour guide, while another is the chef, and yet another is the housekeeper! We are their testing ground – if they are struggling to perform, we help them raise their standards. Most of our children are not looking for jobs, they have become job creators!

This year, two of our high school children got an opportunity for student exchange program in Denver, Colorado. Unfortunately, they were denied visas. Two of our kids have an opportunity to go to Geneva in January 2024 for the FerMUN event – a mock UN event for youth. We are currently working to secure their visas. We also have 27 KACH kids who are currently holding leadership positions in their schools – from lower primary all the way up to university! Sam was the Secretary General of KCA University in Nairobi, for example, and Precious is the prefect of her grade 1 class! One of our children got a job in Sweden, while yet another got a job in USA as a nurse. Two others are working in Dubai. These children are already giving back to the community and supporting their families: Joy and Gladwell have built houses for their mothers and Evans built a house for himself and his brother. Before they came to KACH, they were homeless children. You can imagine their joy having a home they can call their own!

I am currently in the United States participating in a year-long program at Notre Dame University called the Inspired Leadership Initiative. While here, I’m working on creating an endowment for IPI and will be visiting many of our friends across the country. Small home gatherings is how IPI has always raised funds and I would welcome the opportunity to visit with you and your friends or family who may be interested in the impactful work we are doing in Kenya. Please reach out and let me know if you’re interested!

We cannot do all what we have done or achieved all we have achieved alone. Your love and support have been incredible pillars for our success over the years. THANK YOU!! THANK YOU!! THANK YOU!!

Asante Sana,

Dr. Karambu Ringera
IPI Founder & President

Growing Nyumbani – Making Progress!

Let’s celebrate! We are more than 50% of the way to our fundraising goal! Your generosity has enabled us to begin construction on new desks for the children’s study area. Additionally, we have finished much-needed repairs to the outdoor kitchen at the Kithoka Amani Children’s Home. The kitchen (pictured above), where the children’s meals are prepared, was in disrepair. We were able to take swift action and replace the surrounding walls, add a door, and a new roof! New study tables are being constructed so the children have a better-equipped study area with more space for each child.

We have made great progress, but we still have more to do! With your help, we can reach our important goal and start off 2024 by providing everything the children need: mattresses and bedframes, bedding, and  washbasins and buckets for every child! Please consider helping us reach our goal today!

Partnerships Help IPI Serve the Community

My Little Patient, a U.S.-based nonprofit awarded IPI-Kenya a very generous grant to construct a water tower at Tiriji Eco Center. My Little Patient advocates for healthcare equality globally, and recognized the opportunity at IPI to provide lifegiving water in Meru that is facing a growing scarcity of water. In June, construction began on the tower, which now supplies water to our increasing number of guests, older children residing at Tiriji between school terms, and also to the Meru, Kenya community as a whole. Additionally, volunteers from My Little Patient held a dental clinic for the children, hosted educational programs, and worked with local health practitioners. Upon their departure, the volunteers shared, “The volunteer experience in Kenya was nothing short of life-changing! Every moment spent together was a testament to the power of collective action.”

Students Shoulder-to-Shoulder has partnered with IPI-Kenya since 2009. This summer, they brought 13 students and two leaders to work with our children and learn from Dr. Karambu. Jim Millard, one of the leaders offered, “We learned the wisdom of Dr. Karambu firsthand by experiencing her vision of the future for the children in her care. We saw the plan for the food forest and her vision opened our eyes for how to bring about change, beginning with changing how we see ourselves and our role in the world.” Thomas, one of the students, also shared, “During my time in Kenya, my outlook on service was broadened to a global perspective, and I left being the one who learned and grew and was served. I was able to experience firsthand a different culture that lived out the values that my culture tries to uphold.”

KACH Kids Have Endless Possibilities

Gladys Weds Evans – Evans is a former KACH Kid turned ICSP Scholar, turned IPI-Kenya Executive Director (former), turned System Security and Cloud Developer for HaleyTek in Sweden, turned devoted husband. We celebrate the wedding of Evans and Gladys, and the bright future ahead of them!

Two KACH Kids Headed to Model UN – Students from 43 schools worldwide were invited to participate in FerMUN 2024 in Geneva. Two of our KACH Kids, Yvonne and Beatrice, are honored to be among the participants! FerMUN aims to awaken the diplomatic curiosity of young people by giving them the opportunity to participate in a simulation of a UN-style debate. Participants research a country, take on the role of diplomats, study international issues, debate, deliberate, consult, and then propose solutions. Congrats to Yvonne and Beatrice for being selected for this prestigious program!

Asante Sana!

IPI-U.S. Board of Directors: Timothy Ehlinger (Chair), Mike Beerntsen (Vice Chair), Angie Phetteplace (Treasurer, Ex-Officio), Eamon Aloyo (Director of ICSP), Michael Steinback (Past Board Chair), Naitore Gitonga, Bridghette Parker, and Fredah Rajab

IPI-U.S. Advisory Board: Ralph Ogden and Nancy Martin Ross