Support a child and transform a community

Support a child and transform a community

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.

KACH Children receiving their school awards
KACH Children receiving their school awards

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.

Make a donation today or contact us to find out more about becoming a child sponsor.

One big family - the young people of KACH
One big family – the young people of KACH

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.

Make a donation today or contact us to find out more about becoming a child sponsor.

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susie Kemp

Susie has 30+ experience as a creative copywriter, editor, and proofreader, starting out as a 20-year-old copywriter in the Mad Men world of early 1990s advertising in South Africa. Ever since, she’s had a love affair with creative conceptualisation, thinking outside of the box, writing to a deadline, and being thrown in the deep end!

She took an MSc in Publishing at Edinburgh Napier University as a mature student, in 2015, and continues to keep herself busy working as a copy-editor, proofreader and copywriter in book publishing, corporate communications, and publishing project management.

Apart from her love of working with independent authors, Susie has a fondness for working in the third sector and likes to use her corporate communications and marketing experience to support projects close to her heart. She has lived and worked in the Findhorn area for 25 years, and has been involved in a number of third sector projects and organisations, and family businesses.

Working at Ecologia Youth Trust helps Susie to live in integrity with her values of supporting the next generation to be the best that they can be, and she sees it as a way to give back to Mama Africa, the beloved continent on which she was born.

Ellen Shaw

Ellen joined the Ecologia team in June 2018 as Marketing and Communications Manager. Ellen has lived in Scotland for 6 years and has worked for non-profit and charitable organisations across varied fields. She currently shares her passion for helping young people through Ecologia Youth Trust and she works as a dancer and dance teacher in her spare time.

Robyn Cooper

Robyn is the Associate Director of International Projects, having previously worked within the team as a Project Development and Marketing Officer from April 2019 until May 2021. As Associate Director, Robyn is co-leading the International side of Ecologia with Founder and Director, Liza Hollingshead, bringing a new energy into Ecologia as they look towards the future of the charity.

Liza Hollingshead

Liza is the founder of Ecologia and Director of International Projects. She was born and educated in South Africa and worked there as a high school teacher. She moved to live in the Findhorn Community in 1974. She started Ecologia in 1995 after being introduced to Dmitry Morozov, the founder of Kitezh Children’s Community in Russia, and was inspired to support the community in its mission to rescue orphaned children from institutions and give them homes, families and education in a supportive environment.

This led to projects supporting disadvantaged youth and children in South East Asia and in East Africa. TRead more about Liza’s story here.