Technical Services


Kuhenza and Kupenda transform harmful beliefs surrounding disability to those that improve children’s lives.

Technical Services

Kupenda for the Children (an American 501(c) 3) and its affiliate, Kuhenza for the Children (a Kenyan NGO) are niche organizations focused on improving justice, care and inclusion for families impacted by disability in low- and middle-income countries. Kupenda has been registered in the U.S. since 2003 and Kuhenza has been registered in Kenya since 2007. Neither organization has received U.S. government funding in the past — making us ideal for both USAID’s New Partnership Initiative and Locally Established Partner interests.

Last year, Kupenda’s programs improved quality of life for more than 70,000 children with disabilities in low- and middle-income countries. This success and our 20 years of disability program design and implementation experience qualifies us to provide the following technical services:

  • Training and Counselling for Individuals with Disabilities, their Families, and Community Leaders
  • Adaptation and Testing of Materials and Services
  • Community or Program Disability Needs Assessments
  • Disability Program Monitoring and Evaluation Support
  • Consultation on Disability Inclusion Programming and Best Practices
  • Disability Grant/Proposal Research and Writing Support


All of our programs and materials are designed and pilot tested in our innovation center in Kilifi County, Kenya, in partnership with our field team of Kenyan disability professionals.

All of our programs and materials are developed using a human-centered design approach that engages our beneficiaries in development, testing and refinement.

Our implementers are local professionals who tailor programs and service delivery for their culture, in their language and according to existing needs and realities.

Our trainings and events are designed around discussions and exercises that allow participants to learn from one other and craft time-bound plans that are tailored to their local context and driven by their personal conviction.

Kupenda & Kuhenza

Kupenda for the Children is registered in the U.S. and Kuhenza for the Children is registered in Kenya. Both organizations report to their respective national governments, manage their own operational funds, and are overseen by their own Boards of Directors. Each year, Kuhenza and Kupenda collaboratively fundraise to support their joint projects. We have been co-designing and co-implementing disability programs since 2003.

Global Disability

  • More than 1 billion people have a disability
  • 80% of people with disabilities live in low-income countries
  • Disability is a key component in 5 of 17 United Nations
  • Sustainable Development Goals
  • Disability is also key component of strategies developed by
  • USAID, DFID, UNFPA, the World Bank, UNICEF, and CDC

People with Disabilities are:

  • People who “have long-term physical, mental, intellectual or sensory impairments which in interaction with various barriers may hinder their full and effective participation in society on an equal basis with others” (UNCRPD, 2006, p. 4)
  • Over represented in all vulnerable population groups and yet are underserved by development programs
  • Highly vulnerable to stigma, poverty, abuse, and exploitation leading to high morbidity and mortality rates
  • Deprived of health, education, economic empowerment, legal rights and emotional support
  • Challenged less by their physical limitations and more by societal views that underestimate their abilities, dehumanize them, or even support beliefs in supernatural causes of disability

Our Partnership Experience

Kenya: Our Innovation and Testing Center. Kupenda has more than 2 decades of experience developing, testing and refining disability training programs in our innovation center in the Kilifi County of Kenya (through Kuhenza for the Children) in partnership with local NGOs, government ministries, community leaders, and individuals and families impacted by disabilities. Our disability advocacy approaches are also being replicated by other Kenyan NGOs such as Sasa Harambe, KESHO, Bethany Children’s Trust and Compassion international.

Burundi: Virtual Disability Training. In 2020, World Relief asked us to expand on the training we conducted for them in Malawi by conducting another training for their team in Burundi. We did so virtually (due to Covid-19 limitations) and the session was such a success that they asked us to train their teams in Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo in the coming year.

Haiti: Needs Assessment. Kupenda is working with Pazapa in Jacmel, Haiti to conduct a community needs assessment. Research results will be used to shape the nonprofit’s disability sensitization program fundraising and implementation strategies. This will also be used to develop a Haitian Disability Consortium. During Covid-19 we have also provided technical support and shared child case management resources with Pazapa and Help for Haiti in Cap Haitien.

Malawi: Site Visits and Disability Program Design. In 2019, World Relief observed our Disability Trainings in Kenya to learn about our program model. We then visited their programs in Malawi to inform the development of a Disability Training Program partnership plan and a funding proposal for a pilot project that will improve the lives of people with disabilities in the 20 countries where they operate.

Sierra Leone: Co-led Disability Trainings. In 2018, we conducted disability needs assessments, collaborated on inclusion trainings for educators and co-facilitated a Pastor Disability Advocacy workshop in partnership with the International Theological Education Network (ITEN), EduNations, and World Hope International (WHI). WHI and ITEN are now working with Kupenda to infuse our training model into their programs in other nations where they operate.

Tanzania: First Replication of our Disability Advocacy Model. Since 2014, Kupenda has supported work in 3 regions of Tanzania by conducting needs assessments, community-based rehabilitation and community leader advocacy training programs. Our partners in Tanzania include Kulea Childcare Villages, LOCIP, EFMRED, TRACED and various public schools and government ministries.

Zambia: Technical Assistance for Replication of our Disability Programs. Since 2018, Kupenda has partnered remotely with partners in 2 regions of Zambia. The Special Hope Network leads our pastor disability trainings independently with remote support from our U.S. and Kenyan teams. A social worker from the Ministry of Community Development and Social Services of Zambia visited our work in Kenya, and with technical support from our field team, started Lilato, a local NGO that now identifies children with disabilities in need and conducts family disability interventions and community leader disability trainings using our model.

Our Strategy

Our multilevel strategy is consistent with the social ecological model for social and behavior changes that improve the lives of people living with disabilities.1

Individual and family: We support individuals impacted by disabilities and their families with community-based rehabilitation and equip them to advocate for their rights.

Community: We address harmful beliefs and practices perpetrated at the community level by families, leaders and residents and train them as disability advocates.

Environmental : We influence the economic and policy environment by equipping people impacted by disability and influential leaders to create systemic changes that support disability justice.

Global: We provide technical assistance to government partners and other organizations to implement best practices for disability inclusion and then partner with these entities for broader influence.

1 “Ecological Models of Human Development,” by U. Bronfenbrenner, 1994, in International Encyclopedia of Education (pp. 37-42), Oxford, UK: Elsevier.