Today, while Kupenda’s founder and Executive Director, Cynthia Bauer, celebrated her birthday, the Kupenda community celebrated her life and thousands of other lives she’s saved through her work.
“Cindy is hands down one of the best leaders I have ever met – strategic, visionary, practical, empowering, persevering, passionate, humble, inspiring. Tho’ I am older than her, I still say I want to be more like her when I grow up! And on top of all that she is a TRUE heart & soul connecting friend.” ~ Patty Prasada-Rao, Kupenda Board member, donor, child sponsor and Kenya volunteer
“Cindy does not see what she does for people with disabilities as something special or unique. She sees it as everyone’s responsibility, in every community.” ~ Rebecca Dowling, Kupenda donor, child sponsor, Kenya volunteer and Kilimanjaro hiker
“During Cindy’s disability talks she asks people to say what they think she can’t do because of her missing hand. People list of kind of crazy things. Driving, cooking, bathing, etc. and Cindy just stands there taking it until it ends and she can explain that she can actually do all those things and more. The first time I saw this part of her talk I thought ‘Wow, that’s effective.’ The second time I thought, ‘Wow, that’s brave.’ But by the third time I started to think, ‘Wow, that’s painful.’ But, you know, Cindy’s passion is like that: fearless, confident, persistent. She’ll do that talk 1,000 more times in this life and every time it will be hard, and every time it will improve someone’s understanding of disability. That’s Cindy. That’s her gift.” ~ Jessica Charles, Kupenda’s Development Director and donor
“Cindy’s tireless devotion to the children of Kenya through the work of Kupenda is admirable beyond measure and has inspired so many to share their love and support as well.” ~ Sarah Handon, Kupenda child sponsor and Kenya volunteer
“I tried to harness Cindy’s powerful reasoning skills and persistence on a recent vacation. We had backpacked 10 miles into the Grand Canyon where the native people run a helicopter service for hikers getting back out of the canyon and a backpack service on mules for people who will pay to have their bag carried for them. To our shock, the helicopter we planned to take was cancelled and we would have to hike the 10 miles back out. Just as the we were finding out the bad news, a mule train went by and I ran alongside this Havasupai cowboy man for 10 minutes – getting out of earshot of the other hikers – trying to convince him to take two more bags. He wasn’t biting so I was trying all my Cindy-moves: Reasoning, thinking on my toes, being direct, and polite, but also persistent…. but….I FAILED! We had to hike all the way back out again with our heavy backpacks. If it was you Cindy, I have no doubt your bags would have been on there and somehow you may have gotten that helicopter to take off too. You can do anything Cindy. I truly believe it. And although I’m sure your skills come in handy in situations like mine, you use your leadership to fight for the comfort and rights of others. Love you lots! Happy Birthday!” ~ Julia Spruance, Kupenda child sponsor, Kenya volunteer and Kilimanjaro hiker
“She does it all for the children. Everything is for them.” ~ Leonard Mbonanai, Kupenda’s co-founder and Kenya Director