Irene Mbari-Kirika (F13), a GMAP graduate, was recently awarded The Order of the Grand Warrior (OGW) of Kenya, the second highest ranking award in Kenya after The Order of the Golden Heart. The honor was presented by Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta in recoginition of outstanding or distinguished services rendered to the nation in various capacities and responsibilities.
Mbari-Kirika is the founder and executive director of inABLE (est. 2006), a nonprofit organization based in the USA and Kenya with a mission to empower blind and visually impaired students in Africa through assistive computer technology. Today, inABLE is empowering the blind and visually impaired in Africa through assistive technology; the first computer program was implemented in July 2009, and the future goal of the non-profit is to implement the computer program in the eight schools for the blind in Kenya. Since its founding, inABLE has partnered up with large corporations such as Cisco and Microsoft to help develop their programs, which include the following: computer labs for the blind, reading spaces, and research and development.
"It's a huge honor to receive an award at this level, especially because our impact is on blind students who fall directly under the government of Kenya,” said Kirika. "Technology is a very powerful tool for special needs students and we have made some great progress.”