Fighting for the Right to Education and Inclusion: Rita’s Story

by Lauren Blair


Due to negative stigma about her disability, Rita’s parents abandoned her to the care of her uncle, Barnabas. Throughout Kupenda’s programs, 70% of children with disabilities have lost either one or both parents. This is due to social perceptions that disabilities are a curse from God and the lack of support families often receive.

By partnering with Kupenda, however, Barnabas has been better able to provide food and clothing to his niece. He stated, 

“[Kupenda] has been very supportive and helping. … [Kupenda] is a good organization that keeps people stable.” 

Unfortunately, although Barnabas has taken over daily care for Rita, her parents are still her legal guardians and have refused to give their consent for Rita to attend school. In fact, only 2% of children with disabilities in low-income countries are currently enrolled in school

In response to these attitudes, Kupenda staff continue to counsel Rita’s family and advocate for Rita’s rights. They also host Disability Training Programs, collaborating with communities to raise awareness about the medical causes of disability, provide appropriate interventions, and equip people to support and include those with disabilities in daily life.

Last year, Kupenda’s programs improved the lives of 114,998 children in 14 countries. With your support, more children like Rita will one day be able to access their right to an education and inclusion. We continue to be grateful for your partnership in their stories, which serves as a powerful testament to their deep value and worth!

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