Posted on April 28, 2022
In Kenya, mothers of children with disabilities often face the same, or worse stigma, as their children. Most are told the child’s disability is their fault. They are accused of infidelity, witchcraft, demon possession, sin, and more. Their husbands often feel too ashamed to remain in the marriage and abandon them – leaving them with the challenge of caring for the child while trying to earn an income.
Despite these challenges, each year we see hundreds of these women thriving in our disability trainings, parents support groups, income generating projects, physical therapy trainings, and sign language classes. As a result, their children thrive too. They begin to gain weight, become stronger, access assistive devices, attend school, and make friends.
A few months ago, we asked some of these moms to reflect on the changes they’ve seen in their lives since joining our program. Here are a few of their responses:
Changes in Themselves
• “At first I was very shy caring a baby who is not growing, not talking properly [but] after the trainings, I learnt that it wasn’t my fault to give birth to such a human being.”
• “The condition of my son was worse and I was seeing it as a bad omen and witchcraft. But through treatment with different health facilities my son got assisted and now I am a happy mother.”
• “The family members are now of help. When she needs help, they provide it to her, like turning her. It’s because they have seen me laugh with her and learnt she also deserves love.”
• “I lost most of my friends. I couldn’t go to work… my family neglected me. I was depressed… I was a laughing stock in the family but I accepted nature and embraced it. I am a proud mother now.”
• “I used to shy off from my kid, because of my condition. After undergoing through training, my life changed for the better. Now I am confident enough to defend my kid.”
• “Before I used to blame others when I felt like they ignored my son and were not ready to support him but now I am always taking my own responsibilities of making sure I help my son. When I see my son is getting his needs and rights then I feel am strong and responsible woman.”
Changes in their Children
• “His health has improved. He can walk with the crutches without any support. He can even stand up without support.”
• “She could hardly move but now knows of games she can play.”
• “The child’s self-esteem has improved compared to his early moments of life. He interacts with people in a very nice [way] because he has grown up and accepted himself.”
• “Now he can move from one point to another and he looks somehow cheerful unlike before. I feel good to see my son’s health is improving.”
• “He used to hate himself because of his condition, but going through counselling sessions he changed completely.”
• “She was pale at some point of her life. She however got medication. She was diagnosed with ulcers… now she is healthy.”
• “Initially, he had no friends but now he has many of them. I think it is because he can now move around even with his one leg… the friends take him as a normal kid.”
• “She is improving on the practical education. She knows how to cook, make necklaces and bangles.”
• “He can count numbers. He can play football…He can write… There is a great difference because he is now becoming brave.”
To celebrate these women and the incredible love of mothers everywhere, we’re inviting you to make a Mother’s Day tribute gift in honor of a mom or special maternal figure in your life. When you make a gift in honor of someone special, we’ll send a personalized message to your loved one letting them know the incredible impact your gift in their name can have for children in need.
Your donation can help provide medical care to children in need. It can provide counseling and training to moms and other caregivers. Nourishing food for impoverished families. Access to medicine and schools. So please, click here to honor a mom in your life and help children with disabilities have a brighter future.
Your support helps to create lasting change for the children who need it most – change that will last a lifetime. Thank you for being a part of our community!
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If you’re interested in supporting one of the many children we serve, head over to our sponsorship page to learn about how you can make a difference for just $30 / month.
You can also help children with disabilities stay safe and healthy during COVID-19 by donating here.