The stories of three children in No Longer Left Behind demonstrate how Kupenda bridges education equity gaps for children with disabilities around the world. Set in rural Kenya, children walk eight miles to and from school every day. For Rehema, a non-disabled child, this poses no issue. But for her brother, Baraka, and her friend, Amina, access to education is not so easy. Baraka is hard of hearing, and the local school has no sign language-trained instructors to teach him. Amina has cerebral palsy, and cannot make the long walk every day, nor navigate the school steps. Instead of spending each day playing with their peers and learning, Baraka and Amina must stay home and help with chores. The children and their families also face stigma from the community which leaves them even more excluded. Fortunately, Kupenda’s family counseling, disability training and sponsorship program enable Baraka and Amina to access special education and come to understand and accept their conditions. Baraka and Amina are just two of more than 60,000 children with disabilities who Kupenda supports each year. To help a child in your life learn more about disability equity and Kenyan culture, reserve your copy of No Longer Left Behind today! All book proceeds will enable Kupenda to reach more children in need through our Advocacy, Education and Medical Care programs!
Anyone who grieves the “flaws” in their life needs to read “An Unlikely Gift”. Lauren Boswell Blair tells the story of Kupenda for the Children, a non-profit that serves children with disabilities in Kenya who are considered to be cursed by God, frequently being subjected to practices of child elimination and mistreatment. As the story of the founders of this mission and the children it assists unfolds, it becomes evident that not only our gifts and abilities serve us in life, but also our weaknesses and disabilities. In fact, the combination of these attributes becomes most evident when demonstrated in community with others. The stories that follow highlight just how both aspects of our being, our strengths and our vulnerabilities, are a vital part of fulfilling God’s call for our lives and experiencing the dignity that belongs to all of his creation.
The first interdisciplinary and multivocal study of its kind to review achievements and challenges related to the situation of persons with disabilities in Kenya today
Disability in Africa has received significant attention as a dimension of global development and humanitarian initiatives. Little international attention is given, however, to the ways in which disability is discussed and addressed in specific countries in Africa. Little is known also about the ways in which persons with disabilities have advocated for themselves over the past one hundred years and how their needs were or were not met in locations across the continent. Kenya has been on the forefront of disability activism and disability rights since the middle of the twentieth century. The country was among the first African states to create a legal framework addressing the rights of persons with disabilities, namely the Persons with Disabilities Act of 2003. Kenya, however, has a much longer history of institutions and organizations that are dedicated to addressing the specific needs of persons with disabilities, and substantial developments have occurred since the introduction of the legal framework in 2003.
Disability and Social Justice in Kenya: Scholars, Policymakers, and Activists in Conversation is the first interdisciplinary and multivocal study of its kind to review achievements and challenges related to the situation of persons with disabilities in Kenya today, in light of the country’s longer history of disability and the wide range of local practices and institutions. It brings together scholars, activists, and policymakers who comment on topics including education, the role of activism, the legal framework, culture, the impact of the media, and the importance of families and the community.
Advocacy workshops tailored to influential community groups result in sustainable and beneficial changes for children and youth impacted by disability in Kilifi County, Kenya. From June 2015 through April 2017, the nonprofit organization Kupenda for the Children conducted 23 workshops with a total of 603 participants. These included tailored workshops for pastors, traditional healers, government leaders, and families impacted by disability. Based on surveys, 73% of participants believed in spiritual causes of disabilities prior to the workshops. After participating in the workshops, 60% of those who originally held superstitious beliefs claimed to believe in the biological causes of disabilities that had been presented to them. In addition to these changing belief systems, 73% of workshop participants provided evidence of action on behalf of families impacted by disability in their communities. Our work with these community groups provides evidence that change in belief systems and awareness about disability issues within the local population leads to support and inclusion of families impacted by disability.