Tuesday, 5 March 2024
Tuesday, 5 March 2024

Blind Ambition empowering visually impaired journalists in Kenya

BLIND Ambition, the business founded by Seema Flower is supporting two visually impaired young people to study journalism at the Academy for Disabled Journalists.

Jennifer Wanjira and Moses Chiira are both from Nairobi and are passionate about journalism.

The Academy for Disabled Journalists was formed in 2019 and has seen over 80 students take part in the Diploma in Journalism or CFJ (Certificate in Foundation Journalism).

Jennifer Wanjira from Nairobi, Kenya developed an interest in radio presenting at the tender age of 10 years. She would find herself listening to different presenters, emulating them and recording herself.

Jennifer later, unfortunately, became blind as a result of Retinopathy which was caused by mismanaged diabetes diagnosed when she was just 3 years old.

Sadly, her parents passed on and she was left with minimal financial support to effectively manage the different requirements that came with managing the condition.

Consequently, despite the different hurdles Jennifer was experiencing, she still pursued her media dream landing herself an opportunity to learn Audio Acting (which entailed being given different roles to play in an audio movie).

Jennifer still had a passion to venture into journalism and after hearing about the Academy for Disabled Journalists CFJ course through a friend, she got in touch.

CG Moses is a trained radio presenter, professional voiceover talent, audio producer and podcaster from Nairobi Kenya. Moses, formerly a Graphics and Web designer, lost his sight in 2016. Doctors attempted to treat Glaucoma, an eye condition that was damaging his sense of sight, but the eye surgery went wrong.

CG holds Diploma certificates in Radio Journalism and in Graphics and Web Design from local colleges, as well as Certificates in Adaptive Computers and Basic Braille. CG speaks 3 different languages and regularly provides voice-overs in English, Swahili and Kikuyu.

He also runs a disability awareness and advocacy podcast called ‘Vuka’ which means crossing over or making it to the other side.

The visually-impaired journalist is a volunteer co-host for a disability awareness show on KBC Channel 1, as well as volunteering as a communications and advocacy officer in a number of Community Based Organisations in Nairobi, Kenya.

CG is a movie buff and a bookworm, has a deep passion for the media, loves hiking, socialising, board games, nature drives and exploring any new disability tech, especially for the blind and the visually impaired.

CG dreams of someday becoming a fully-fledged radio journalist working with the BBC and a voiceover artist across the globe.

Seema Flower, Founder of Blind Ambition said :

“I am very excited about being a part of Jennifer and CG’s journeys. This course will give them the tools to work in their community and open up more employment opportunities for them.

“As someone who is visually impaired, I understand the challenges faced when seeking employment. Having this completed course on each of their CVs will raise their profiles and validate their already successful careers, opening up new paths that may not currently be so easily available.

“I love the work that Ability Today and the Academy of Disabled Students do for the disabled community who have a passion for journalism. My own passion is educating and advising when it comes to careers, so when this sponsorship opportunity came up, there was no doubt it was something I wanted to get involved with!”

Grant Logan, Founder of Ability Today and the Academy of Disabled Students said:

“We want to give our students the tools for success. The Academy is providing the skills to make a difference and change lives. We are now creating direct pathways to employment which is just fantastic!”

Ability Today and the Academy for Disabled Students is funded by the National Lottery, sponsors and donations and we are now in our 4th year supporting over 80 disabled people to get a qualification and providing a real opportunity for them to gain employment.

“Partnering with Blind Ambition to sponsor two students from Kenya, both with visual impairments has allowed us to support on an international scale where education and funding options are limited.

“We are really excited to have gained the support of Blind Ambition and look forward to continuing our partnership with them and providing access to our courses for more blind students.”

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