Students at The Episcopal School of Dallas had the opportunity to hear from a very special guest on campus this week. Dr. Karambu Ringera, founder of the NGO International Peace Initiatives (IPI) and partner of Students Shoulder-to-Shoulder, visited with all divisions to speak about her organization and experiences.
Dr. Ringera spoke to several Upper School classes on Monday, including World Cultures, World History, Ethics, and US Constitution where she was able to connect what our students are learning in the classroom to a more global discussion. She talked to students about the work that IPI does in Kenya, empowering women, educating and inspiring orphans, and creating thriving, resilient, and sustainable communities where there is often little hope due HIV/AIDS and poverty. The overall goal of IPI is to improve livelihood and enhance quality of life, which can and should be a goal for communities and governments around the world. She emphasized that dreaming big is the key to success when it comes to almost anything; whether it's a small project or changing the world. "If your dream doesn't scare you, it's not big enough," she explained.
Student members of the Women's Studies Club and World Affairs Club were invited to join Dr. Ringera for lunch as well, where they were able to discuss some of the global issues our world facing today.
On Tuesday, Dr. Ringera returned to ESD's Merrell Road Campus to speak in both Middle and Upper School chapel services before heading down to the Lower School Campus to work with fourth graders on leadership and problem-solving. Students learned about the topography and diverse culture of Kenya, and were presented with the challenges the country is currently facing. Fourth graders worked together on a design project where they built models to represent a challenging statistic that leader might have to solve around, and then they brainstormed and built into their model possible creative solutions, using their own unique ideas and building on the ideas that Dr. Ringera had share from her own experience.
"Dr. Ringera started with nothing and with almost no support, and developed programs in her community to support and empower women and to protect children that now resonate far outside their original reach," said Eleanor Arnold, an Upper School history teacher and Chair of ESD's Global Competency Council. "I hope our students see from her example that they too can have an impact to make the world better for themselves and others, and that local problems right here in Dallas are waiting for them to address."
Thank you to Dr. Ringera for sharing your story, work, and experiences with The Episcopal School of Dallas this week. Your words and actions are inspiring.