Navigating Change: Silvia’s Resilience and Kupenda’s Impact

by Sanjida Azad

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Silvia’s early years were marked by challenging circumstances. Shortly after birth, she was diagnosed as having cerebral palsy and being hard of hearing.  Her father, who couldn’t come to terms with her disability, rejected her, and her mother shouldered the responsibility of caring for Silvia and her siblings alone.

Silvia’s mother looked to her family for assistance, but they were unable to provide for them or support Silvia’s education due to financial constraints. Silvia’s mother turned to Malindi Sub-County Hospital for physical therapy, but Silvia’s mobility remained restricted, necessitating a wheelchair.

Breaking Barriers and Building Hope

The turning point for Silvia came when a pastor at her church connected her and her mother to Kupenda, whose Kenyan staff began to offer counseling and vital support.

Recognizing the urgency, Kupenda covered Silvia’s boarding fees, paving the way for her to attend school. In addition, they provided ongoing counseling sessions to equip Silvia’s family with knowledge about her rights and how to access essential resources. Today Kupenda is actively working to secure a wheelchair, which will be a vital tool for Silvia’s independence.

Silvia’s New Chapter

Silvia’s life has seen a positive shift due to her determined efforts and her involvement with Kupenda. Enrolled in a supportive educational environment, she attends school with enthusiasm. As Silvia learns sign language, the barriers to communication have lessened, improving her social connections.

Furthermore, Kupenda’s disability training workshops have also helped build awareness about disabilities among people in her community, increasing inclusion and local support.

“Silvia is very happy,” noted a Kupenda Project Officer, highlighting the tangible improvements in her life.

As Silvia continues her educational journey, her dreams for the future remain to be seen. With Kupenda’s support and her resilience, she now has the opportunity to explore her interests and build a brighter tomorrow. In Silvia’s story, we witness the impact of practical support that breaks down barriers and provides a foundation for a more hopeful future.


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About the Author


Sanjida Azad


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