Posted on March 17, 2020
advocacy, Children With Disabilities, covid-19, disability advocacy, disability education, disability rights, documentary, education, film screening, film-making, hearing impairments, inclusion, kenya, kilimanjaro, learning disability, mountains, pandemic, people with disabilities, vulnerable children
I am making an official, yet unsurprising, announcement that Kupenda’s documentary tour is postponed until October/November 2020. The Gordon College (Wenham, MA) showing has been rescheduled to October 24th (RSVP here). As we work with our partners to reschedule other screenings around the country, we will update our documentary tour website and social media pages.
The weight heavy on my heart today is for the thousands of children with disabilities around the world whose current struggles will be magnified by this pandemic.
Many of our children have immune system and respiratory challenges, so they are more vulnerable to the virus itself, especially as most do not have access to quality medical care (which is true at all times but more so if the Kenyan medical system becomes overrun by coronavirus-related concerns).
Perhaps an even bigger worry is that many of the children in our programs depend on communities and schools to survive and these support structures are now severely compromised. Kenyan schools are closing this week due to coronavirus and no gatherings are allowed. This means that children who access food, medical support, and care taking at school no longer have these supports. Even in the best of times, children in our programs have died when they are at home in rural, under-resourced areas where families may not have the income, food, or medical knowledge to appropriately care for them.
In response, we held a meeting with our Kenyan team yesterday where we made plans to support the families impacted by disabilities in our communities by doing the following:
- Calling caretakers to ensure they know how to keep their children and families safe from the virus
- Educating caretakers on how to meet the ongoing needs of their children, especially related to appropriate nutrition and medicine
- Mobilizing our trained community leaders to contact and provide support for the most vulnerable children in their communities
- Offering food to those unable to obtain it due to school closures
I know this is a confusing, stressful, fearful, and frustrating time for all of us. But please remember the problems these children have always faced are not going away. They are being amplified by the current situation and these kids need our help more than ever.
Your prayers, encouragement, and support are appreciated during this difficult time for our world. Ours are with you too.
With much love and gratitude,
If you’re interested in supporting one of the many children they serve, head over to their sponsorship page to learn about how you can make a difference for just $30 / month.