by Lauren Blair
Posted on July 8, 2022
When Faith’s mother, Rehema, first arrived at Kupenda’s office in Kenya, she didn’t know where else to turn. Her daughter’s intellectual and physical disabilities required more time and resources than she had, especially as she was already busy sustaining her family’s other basic needs. Since Rehema worked odd jobs, it was nearly impossible for her to take Faith to her doctor visits and regular therapy, administer her seizure medications as scheduled, and watch over her safety.
According to a report by the World Bank, 600 million mothers worldwide are unable to work due to childcare constraints such as these. Like many Kenyan mothers of children with disabilities, Rehema is also a single parent. In low-income countries throughout the world, women who give birth to children with disabilities are often stigmatized and abandoned, causing 60% of children with disabilities to grow up in the care of single mothers.
Many people in Faith’s community also believed her disability was the result of witchcraft and wanted to stay away from her. This made it hard for Rehema to find someone to care for Faith while she worked.
Fostering a Future Hope
With the help of Kupenda’s services, however, Faith was connected to life-sustaining care. Today, Faith is enrolled in school where she not only receives an education, but also daily assistance with medication, physical therapy, and nutrition. Additionally, her mother is now able to earn a stable income for her family while knowing that her daughter’s needs are being met at school.
Four Levels of Support
For Faith, her days of uncertainty have now been replaced with reliable care, greater physical freedom, and the building blocks of knowledge and skills that will help her achieve a greater level of independence.
For Rehema’s family, Faith’s disability is no longer a cause of poverty and instability. Now Rehema feels more hopeful about her daughter’s future and her ability to provide for Faith and her siblings.
For Faith’s community, Kupenda’s disability sensitization activities are continuing to foster inclusion by reducing negative beliefs about the causes of disability and promoting the dignity of every individual.
Please consider supporting us so we can continue to provide counseling and service referrals to mothers like Rehema and children like Faith!
And check out our Sponsorship Frequently Asked Questions here.
Want to keep updated on Kupenda’s work?
And please also sign up for our monthly newsletter and updates here.
You can also help children with disabilities stay safe and healthy during COVID-19 by donating here.