We have worked with our partner, International Peace Initiatives (IPI) since 2013. Together, we focus on improving the lives and futures of local vulnerable children, young people and single young mothers around Meru County in Kenya.
Amani means ‘peace’ in Swahili. The mission of Kithoka
Amani Children’s Home (KACH) is to keep orphaned and vulnerable children in the community where they grew up, which preserves a child’s network of support. The children are supported to attend school, as well as being taught about organic farming and other skills that prepare them for a productive adult life. With the Kithoka Amani Community Home (KACH), we support 35 local children as their mothers are given the skills, training and resources they need to break their cycles of poverty for the long term. At KACH, the children can live safely and have access to a quality education and a ‘normal’ life. Children are supported through their education through sponsorships paid by our generous donors. Sponsoring a child at (KACH) in Meru, Kenya means encouraging a child’s sense of wellbeing and showing them someone cares. Many of these children have lost their parents to HIV/AIDS or have been abandoned by families unable to care for them because of extreme poverty.
We work with IPI to provide funding for primary and secondary schools for all Amani Home children, as we believe education helps to lift families out of the cycle of poverty. Your regular support means that we can reliably look after the children at KACH and develop our capacity to care for more children.
How are children supported at Kithoka Amani Community Home? Dr Karambu explains in her own words
Dr Karambu Ringera is the founder and president of International Peace Initiatives. She is an inspiring, dedicated leader whose untiring efforts to empower women hav
e enabled hundreds of women, in Meru County in particular, to take care of their own children in the face of poverty, and disease, in particular HIV/AIDS. Dr. Ringera is a visionary, an activist, a compassionate, committed, formidable force for change, and an inspiration to all who meet her.
When people sponsor kids in Africa and other parts of the third world, they mostly pay for tuition – school fees ONLY. What most forget is that this kid has an environment within which they are growing: schooling, to eat, dress, get medical attention, have a house mother and other people who work at the Home to take care of the children, and so on We do educational trips, we read books, we need toys, we fall ill, we break things that need to be repaired, we have a car that needs to be maintained, buy clothes, and eat a balanced diet!! And when a kid has no sponsor, we will share the little we have to cover all of the kids. Think – a real HOME, not an institution!! Children are very ‘creative’ even if that means breaking things and messing with beds and walls. Repairs and maintenance are one of my biggest headaches here!! The Home has to be kept clean and nice – just like any other Home.
So, my explanation is: the life any normal kid leads anywhere in the world – a kid who has their basic needs met, that is – is the life I offer these kids. They will eat what I eat, dress well and grow up feeling like human beings, not sardines dumped in a semi-permanent space with just enough to keep them alive. I want these kids to grow feeling ‘normal’, feeling they are like any other child and that they are not ‘orphans’ when here at the Home. Their circumstances made them orphans, but at the Home, they are my children –like normal children, not orphans –stigma – (if you see what I mean).
My kids play, go to school, ask for special treats, laugh, get ill, need a hug, are naughty, enjoy being alive because they feel ‘human’ since we have created a ‘humane’ space for them. I do not compare myself to other Homes. I know there are those better and worse than me/ours, but I have consciously and conscientiously created a space that makes me proud to say that KACH is a place that enables children to find who they are; a place that shows a model of how we need to be treating children made vulnerable by circumstances they have no control of!
We may be living in Africa, but children in Africa also deserve a decent life! Not to make money out of them and give them a miserable life, but give them a place they can REALLY call Home. All I can say is: If you feel that you cannot sponsor all of a child’s needs, but you really desire to help, choose a portion of a kid’s life you want to sponsor and give money for that – say clothes or food – whatever you choose that you feel you can afford. We ARE DIFFERENT, by design!
Love, Light and Peace,
Dr Karambu Ringera
When you support IPI’s work you are investing in transforming the life of a woman or a child who will transform a whole community.