During the five years I have served on the board of IPI and the 10 years I have beeninvolved, I have seen the organization stick by its mission of moving vulnerable Kenyans from poverty and crisis to peace and stability, and hopefully changing the future of Kenya.
Any visit to IPI in Meru makes it clear that the Amani Home is truly a community home, filled with love and support and a sense of peace. We continue to grow our programs, welcome more children, engage with the community and encourage higher education for our older students. All in an effort to transform lives. There remains significant challenges ahead and much work to do, but I feel grateful knowing we are significantly impacting lives and hopefully the future of Kenya.
We thank you greatly for your partnership with us,
Nancy Martin Ross
The visits to the U.S. by Dr. Karambu Ringera, IPI President and Founder, inspire many. Last fall, IPI reached several new cities and reconnected with many old friends and supporters. Dr. Ringera is shown right speaking to a class at the Episcopal School of Dallas. If you are interested in hosting a gathering with Dr. Ringera this fall, please reach out to us via email at email@example.com.
A Message from the Executive Director, Anne Makandi
This picture expresses the joy that I feel every moment when I share my life’s journey with these young ones at KACH! My one-year stay at IPI has been an awesome ride. As the Executive Director, I oversee all programs for IPI-Kenya working directly under our founder, Dr. Karambu Ringera.
Due to the generous support we get from IPI-U.S., we have been able to support more children. We have a total number of 60 children at different levels of education. Due to improved diet, the children are also doing well health-wise. We really thank God. The New Generation Leadership (NGL) program and many other training opportunities for everyone at IPI-Kenya has helped us better our view of ourselves and all else around us.
I feel blessed to be part of the IPI family. Pamoja twasonga mbele (Together moving forward).
Kithoka Amani Children’s Home
There has been a severe drought in Meru and the government has been rationing water. This has impacted IPI-Kenya significantly by restricting bathing, washing clothes, and even the ability to flush toilets. Rainwater storage was being saved for food preparation only. Despite this difficulty, IPI-Kenya has welcomed four new young children (Blessie and Kelvin shown right) at the Amani Home and we sent several students off to boarding high school this year. Obviously, the increase in children, combined with the difficulties associated with the drought, has caused a strain on the budget in Meru. If you’re interested in sponsoring one of these new children, please contact our Director of Sponsorship, Heather Boyd, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Visitors to KACH
We have welcomed many visitors to the Amani Home already this year! They not only generate revenue for IPI-Kenya, but more importantly, they come with great ideas and talents to share.
Twenty correctional officers from the Meru Women’s Prison visited KACH and spent the day with the children, dancing playing and sharing a meal together. The officers brought donations of clothing, toys and even food for the home. An officer within the Meru prison system heard very good things about Karambu and IPI and they decided to visit as part of their Corporate Social Responsibility initiative. It was a joyful time for all!
Late last year, best selling author and health expert, Nikki Sharp, and her friend Kerri Reed, digital media health and wellness specialist, visited KACH.
“We went with expectations of teaching people about business, really diving into the work side of the organization, and sharing our skills. What we didn’t anticipate was how much we would learn from letting go of these expectations and just being present. I truly learned more from my three weeks being in Meru than I could ever have expected possible.”
Two interns from the U.S. also spent time at KACH this spring. They, like so many visitors to IPI-Kenya were transformed.
“Thank you so much again for introducing Jon and me to KACH. We had an amazing time and loved visiting with all of the kids. Jon and I have served at multiple homes before, but none of them had as wholesome of an approach to caring for the kids as KACH. The Lord is truly doing a special work there, we were so impressed. God bless you all.”
IPI-Kenya accepts visitors year-round, and in 2017 alone hosted more than 1,000 people. It is a truly transformative experience and if you, or someone you know, are interested in seeing the great work IPI-Kenya is doing, please contact us!
New Van for the New Year
Our need for a new van was great. The children receive medical and dental care from free or low-cost clinics that are hours away from Meru. We also need to transport food and supplies to the home, some of which can only be purchased in Nairobi. We have visitors come who need transportation to and from Nairobi. Finally, as our students age out of the local primary school, they attend boarding schools that are a considerable distance away from the home.
Our current van served us well but was more than 10 years old, logged hundreds of thousands of miles, was in serious disrepair and broke down frequently. The van need was urgent, the funding short, but the response of you – our IPI supporters – was generous. Combined with our new partner organization, IPI-Canada, we raised more than $20,000 through our Gladitood Crowdfunding Campaign and we were able to purchase a used 14-passenger van that will meet our needs well. We could not have done this without you. Thank you for your generosity in helping meet this need!
All Hats, No Desks
Many of the children living at the Kithoka Amani Children’s Home attend Chabuene Academy, a primary school located adjacent to the IPI grounds. Chabuene provides an excellent education from pre-school to Grade 8, and is run by the local Methodist Church. However, many of the classrooms have a wooden exterior with dirt floors, no windows and no means of providing heat or insulation.
Moved by photos of children learning together in the classroom, wearing hats and gloves while doing their schoolwork, a men’s group with Calvary United Methodist Church in Annapolis, Maryland started the All Hats, No Desks fundraising campaign.
Thanks to their generosity, construction on the classroom began in December 2017 and the shell of the classroom is nearly complete. Dilapidated wood walls were replaced with concrete block, providing for a more insulated, warmer classroom. Windows were purchased, which adds natural light where lighting was lacking. There is still much work to be done.
If you are interested in supporting the All Hats, No Desks campaign to complete this classroom, please contact IPI via email at email@example.com, or donate online at www.ipeacei.org/donate.
Occasionally, we feature stories of the children who have been raised at the Kithoka Amani Children’s Home. They are inspiring and help you understand the importance of the work being done by IPI in Meru, Kenya. Dennis was one of the first children to live at the Amani Home and is one of our International College Scholars Program (ICSP) participants.
My name is Dennis Njuguna. I am 21 years old and came to International Peace Initiatives in 2008 immediately after the disastrous post-election violence that brought Kenya to its knees. Many people were murdered, property was destroyed and people were evicted from their homes. We were displaced from our home and we moved to the Nakuru showground to look for shelter. Dr. Karambu was among the well-wishers who used to come to donate some food, clothing and medicine to the injured I.D.P (internally displaced people).
After discussing it with my mom, Dr. Karambu offered to let us return with her to her home in Meru. My brother and I got a chance to attend school and the journey for building our lives afresh started there. To date, I am still pursuing my dreams. International Peace Initiatives gave me an opportunity to realize my dreams and my full potential. I got a chance to join Karatina University where I am pursuing a degree in Computer Science.
New Generation Leadership Program
After Karambu completed her McCain Institute Fellowship Program in the U.S., she returned to Kenya knowing she wanted to impact the landscape of leadership in Kenya by 2022 – the next general election. IPI has hosted eight New Generation Leadership (NGL) training programs since late 2016. In the past three months alone, 195 people attended three sessions. The next session begins June 28.
The IPI NGL staff has been invited to lead similar programs in Rwanda, Uganda, and South Africa. These in-depth citizen advocacy training programs align with our goal to bring communities to peace and stability and we are making an effort to reach and train potential leaders and candidates in many of the counties in Kenya before the next general election. Change at the policy level is felt to be very important for Kenya.
Karambu is so committed to this program, she started Junior NGL and the children at KACH were trained in two phases. The first phase included kids in primary school and the second phase included high school students and students of the IPI Polytechnic School. Both trainings were conducted by youth leaders who have undergone the NGL Leadership training under Karambu’s direction.
IPI-U.S. Board Update
New Board Chairman
Ralph Ogden (shown here with Blessie) has faithfully served on the IPI-U.S. Board of Directors since October 2013 and is the newly-appointed Board Chairman following the successful chairmanship of Nancy Martin Ross.
Nancy brought an enthusiasm and expertise to the role and positioned IPI-U.S. well going into the future. She brought excellence to IPI-U.S. administration, networked and increased IPI’s visibility, stabilized finances and increased communications to IPI supporters. We are grateful for Nancy’s service and are thankful she will continue to be on the board as Vice Chair of Development. Please join us in wishing Ralph well in his new role as Board Chair.
Director of Child Sponsorships
We are excited to announce a change to our child sponsorship program. Heather Boyd has served on the IPI-U.S. Board since October 2016 and is now our Director of Child Sponsorships. Heather brings a wealth of experience to this role and we are confident she will oversee this position well.
Heather spent nearly four months at KACH in 2014 and is very familiar with the children and the Amani Home. She is organized and efficient and loves the children, so we know she will do a great job! IPI thanks Lynn Koeneman, the previous sponsorship coordinator, for her excellent service and for her dedication to the children at the Amani Home. As a reminder, please address all correspondence to:
IPI-U.S. 1777 S. Harrison Street, Ste. 1500 Denver, CO 80210
IPI-U.S. Board of Directors: Ralph Ogden (Chair), Nancy Martin Ross (Vice Chair, Development), Heather Boyd (Director of Child Sponsorships), Eamon Aloyo (Director of ICSP), Angie Phetteplace (Treasurer), Kathleen Holton, Steve Kaplan, Mike McClorey, Anne McGuire, Jeffrey Smith, Michael Steinback