May 18th, 2010
IPI’s new website: Welcome Note from Dr. Karambu Ringera.
- Speaking at the TEDxDU, May 13, 2010:
I do not know how to prepare to present a speech ‘formally’. By formal I mean – when the coach says “Plan, prepare and practice; Plan, prepare and practice.” When I taught Public Speaking classes at the University of Denver as a Graduate Teaching Instructor (GTI), I told students to “Practice, practice, practice. You cannot practice enough!” I just KNOW how to speak spontaneously. But I had to plan, prepare and practice for the TEDxDU event because I REALLY wanted to be great.
I have never been so nervous before an event. I could hardly eat and I slept and woke up with my speech in my head – every time it was different. That made me panic even more. So, I agreed to plan, prepare and practice because the organizers of TEDxDU had provided awesome volunteers to coach and support presenters through the process of becoming ‘smooth’ TEDx speakers. That is how I met Dee. She was a great support and so was Carole and Scott, the organizers of the event. The support staff was the nicest I have ever met anywhere. I felt so very supported and valued as a participant of this awesome event that brought together some of the talented minds and creators of a new bold way of thinking about the most basic aspects of daily life – how a T-junction causes more accidents and costs USA billions of dollars in fuel; a DU graduate girl who has created a motor cycle that moves on electricity and makes 0-60 MPH in less than a second; why we should celebrate Engineers; sports as a tool for social justice; why the original inhabitants of USA should be given back their land; and many more – you just have to go to the TEDx website to listen to all these great speeches!!!
I spoke about our work at International Peace Initiatives (IPI) and focused on our work with women living with HIV/AIDS and children orphaned by HIV/AIDS. I was given 12 short, yet long minutes for my speech. It was very hard to figure out what was the most important part of IPI work that could be covered in 12 minutes!! So, you now understand why the focus changed from what I created before I went to sleep and what I woke up with in my mind in the morning. In the end, I stuck with Beatrice.
I met Beatrice in 2004 at the end of her life, cut short by HIV/AIDS. Her son Vincent was 10 years old at the time. He was not going to school. He was digging outside the hut where his Mom was lying taking her last breath. I have always wondered what he was thinking about with his Mom lying there deathly ill… Anyway, I broke down telling the story in front of a crowd of 900+ people and the world – I hope they will edit that part – but tell me, how can one tell the story of Beatrice and all the women of Africa who have been devastated by a disease without a cure without weeping at the injustice of how the whole dynamics of this disease massacres individuals, children, families, communities and nations??? And more distressing is the story of how provision for help for these people has been marred by human greed, selfishness, and stigma and discrimination against people living with HIV/AIDS and children orphaned as a result of the disease. HIV/AIDS is the 21st century holocaust!! You have to go to the TED website to hear the rest of the story of Beatrice…www.TEDxDU.com
This is the part I did not talk about because 12 minutes is not enough to tell the whole of the IPI story – that is why you needed to come to our website, right? Don’t you LOOOOVVVEEEEE it (our new website, I mean) – brand new, progressive and dynamic – thanks to Ann Kessel the IPI Board Chair and Lance Trumbull from Karma Web Designs who has donated endless hours to help us make the site wonderful!. Okay, the part I did not tell is this… (I do not mean to scare you, I want you to wake up to the reality of why we need to take URGENT action NOW): imagine 20 million children aged from age 1 day to 18 years growing up “at large” – read: without love, care and parental support in the continent of Africa. In Kenya, it is over 2.5 million children. As you hold that reality, fast forward to the latest piracy attack on a ship off the shores of Somalia by Somali teenagers – kids with no hope for the future take on risky (that is an understatement) endeavors to make money to create a livelihood for themselves and their families. What is scary about this picture is that, humanity as we know it has not come to the realization that we have a crisis on our hands – beyond the nightmare of the HIV/AIDS scourge is the catastrophe of millions of orphans, children whose fate we need to figure out if we are to create a secure future for them and ourselves.
That is where the story of IPI really begins…
Welcome to IPI.
Love and Light,
Karambu Ringera (PhD)
Founder and President