Author: Jessica Charles

Including Amani: A Young Man’s Journey to Independence

by Jessica Charles

When we first met Amani Patrick more than 10 years ago, he was struggling to communicate due to his limited sign language skills. Although his parents wished they could send him to school, their jobs as a painter and peasant farmer did not earn them enough income to cover his tuition fees. Amani Thrives at…



Blessed: Lessons Learned from our Work with Traditional Healers

by Jessica Charles

By, Jessica Charles, Kupenda’s Development Director The first time I sat in a workshop alongside 25 Kenyan traditional healers, I was nervous. I’d heard that these herbalists, soothsayers and witchdoctors were conducting painful traditional healing practices on children with disabilities in their communities — things like skin cutting, exorcisms, and live burials. Some of them…



“It Gives Me a Sense of Joy”: An Interview with Kupenda’s Friend, Michele Reber

by Jessica Charles

In this interview, our long-time support and friend, Michele Reber, shares stories of Kupenda’s early years and her perspective on our evolving approaches to disability inclusion. In her responses, Michele also describes how her relationship with Kupenda and its founder has kept her invested in our work for the past 19 years. We cannot thank…



“I Had to Punish Her”: New Perspectives on Domestic Violence

by Jessica Charles

Talk of “domestic violence” often elicits images of a raging parent or partner. Someone angry, cruel, and controlling. But what if, for some, domestic violence is an obligation. Even an expectation. “Then I went to drink. I had to become very drunk so I could get the courage to beat my wife. I had to…



We’re Social

Blog Archives

2006-2017