by Lauren Blair
Posted on December 8, 2023
“I learned that children with disabilities can do what other children can when they are given help–like sign language to talk and exercises to get stronger.” – Grant, age 7
“I learned that a child might be treated badly for having a disability, but that children with disabilities can go to school and should be treated just like anyone else.” – Grayson, age 10
“I didn’t know that, in some places, people who were deaf or had a disability couldn’t go to school before.” – Zeke, age 7
“Now I know that kids with disabilities can learn things and then teach their families and others—that’s really cool!” – Gabe, age 10
“I really liked how, when the kids with disabilities were able to go to school, they got to participate in sports and clubs with other kids!” – Nathan, age 7
“I didn’t know that someone who had a disability couldn’t go to school, but when they were helped, they could.” – Grace, age 6
I recently read Kupenda children’s book, “No Longer Left Behind: How Children with Disabilities Go to School in Kenya” by Sandra Bauer, to a group of young, elementary-aged students.
The children surprised me with their capacity for compassion. They were immediately drawn into the story about children in another country. They demonstrated empathy for children with disabilities who would were mistreated, excitement when they overcame challenges, and interest that a child in Kenya might travel 8 miles to and from school in one day!
Ultimately, it was a great opportunity for us to discuss what it feels like to be different and how we can come alongside others in those moments. Perhaps most importantly, this book illustrates that what may be perceived as a cultural weakness, such as disability, may instead be an overlooked source of ability and value that blesses entire communities. What could be more appropriate this Christmas season than to discuss how we may find gifts in unexpected places?
If you’d like to gift the Kupenda children’s book to your loved ones, simply visit our website to receive your copy. All proceeds go towards improving the lives of children with disabilities. Thank you for taking the opportunity to expose children to life in new contexts while also contributing to others this holiday season!
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