Mark Mwavishi Sabwami – Founder of Jipange [Prepare Yourself]
My Story – I slowly became blind due to Retinitis Pigmentosa, a genetically transmitted condition. In 2012, I was rehabilitated and got access to education. Blind people in rural areas of Kenya cannot access training due to poverty and lack of awareness of available opportunities. This gave me a mission to address blind people’s needs, especially from remote regions, through counseling and life skills empowerment that will enable access to education, promote blind persons’ inclusion in career options and make them an effective workforce in the job market.
Location – Jipange is located in Kitale town as circled on the map. It is 390 Kilometers to Nairobi and 450 Kilometers to Machakos (located in the Eastern part of the country). These are the only locations in Kenya with institutions that provide education and various resources for the blind/visually impaired in Kenya. Due to poverty, many blind individuals are unable to raise funds to travel to Nairobi or Machakos to be rehabilitated. Jipange is committed to bringing the gap by bringing hope to the blind in Kitale and surrounding rural areas. It is also Jipange’s objective to create awareness all around rural areas in Kenya with the hope of planting similar centers in those locations.
What Motivates Me? – Being the last born of seven siblings, I must say I have had the privilege of learning from my older siblings. More so, those who are visually impaired. In as much as one does not see, it does not mean that he/she can never amount to anything. My brother Robert Sabwami is a testament to that. His radio interview below provides a little insight on his experience growing up as a visual impaired person in Kenya. It is worth to note that, he went on to complete his Masters Program and is currently employed as an Intervention Specialist at Legacy Christian Academy, in Xenia Ohio, USA.