I first met Kupenda’s founder, Cynthia Bauer, during one of my classes at Gordon College. It had taken until my sophomore year at college for a conversation about disability to be hosted and encouraged.
After class, I approached Cindy and we later were able to meet and discuss our experiences with disability, and the stigma in America surrounding disability. It wasn’t very long into our conversation that I realized that I wanted to work for Kupenda, because disability advocacy has been at the heart of my own experience with disability.
Working for Kupenda has been an absolutely empowering experience and it has given me the courage to step more bravely into my identity as a person with a disability. It has encouraged me to engage with disability advocacy even further as I’ve started a social media page for persons with disabilities at Gordon College.
My work at Kupenda, while small, combined with the staff at Kupenda and Kuhenza, is elevating the status of persons with disability to a level of equality with able-bodied persons.
International Day of Persons with Disabilities gives me hope that organizations like Kupenda and people around the world are taking on the social stigmas that prevent persons with disabilities from fully participating in their communities.
It is a day to celebrate and remember, and I am so grateful to be a part of it as an intern at Kupenda for the Children.