Country of Origin:
Graduate Program: MA in Theological Studies in Peace & Justice, Iliff School of Theology, Denver, CO, US
Background & Goals: Karambu Ringera’s goals included the creation of the Peace Initiatives consulting firm in order to focus research, education, trainings and media on the role of religion in nations in conflict. Broadly she wished to promote conflict resolution and consensus building.
Post-Degree Projects: Ringera is the founder and president of International Peace Initiatives. Through IPI, Ringera has launched an AIDS Orphans Education Fund for children orphaned by AIDS in Kenya; and an Institute of Nonviolence and Peace (INPEACE) to be a nonviolence and peace training hub in Africa. She advocates for Community Homes (as opposed to orphanages) for orphans in Kenya. Community Homes are situated within the community the child grew up, and thus do not separate a child from the community. The child maintains family and community connections with extended family and friends after the parents die. In addition, the community is empowered as it participates in building and plays a part in creating sustainability for the project.
Ringera is also a peace activist working with grassroots groups to highlight the impact of HIV/AIDS, poverty, and war on women and the effects of women’s grassroots peace initiatives on communities in Africa. She convened the first Women’s International Grassroots Peace Congress in Nairobi Kenya in August (18-20, 2005) to address the role of grassroots women’s peacebuilding in Africa, which attracted people from all over Africa and beyond.
International Peace Initiatives hosted their second annual Women’s International Grassroots Peace Congress August 20-23, 2009 in Meru, Kenya. Participants, including grassroots leaders from across Africa, networked in order to create global alliances, share solutions and best practices, and dialogue across borders for sustainable peace. With a theme of “Women, Peace and Community,” the Congress, conceived by Ringera, celebrated the gains women have made in choosing to speak for themselves in working toward prosperity, health, and human rights.
After graduating from the University of Denver after completing her PhD in Human Communication in 2007, Ringera returned to Kenya where she ran for Parliament in 2008. Ringera wrote an account of her work fostering peace dialogues in some of the internally displaced persons camps in Kenya in 2008. The article, titled “When Elephants Fight, the Grass Below Suffers,” was featured in Channel grantee partner World Pulse Spotlight.