WHEN CYNTHIA AND LEONARD MET IN 1999, THEY NEVER IMAGINED THEIR SUPPORT FOR A FEW CHILDREN WITH DISABILITIES WOULD ONE DAY LEAD TO IMPROVED HEALTH AND INCLUSION FOR THOUSANDS.
Leonard Mbonani, a Kenyan special needs teacher, met Cynthia Bauer, an American graduate student, while she was conducting wildlife research on the Kenyan coast. Cynthia was born without her left hand and discovered that many people in Kenya believed disabilities like hers were caused by curses and she may have even been killed if she had been born there. This knowledge inspired Cynthia to respond when Leonard introduced her to children with disabilities who did not have access to medical care or education. In addition to providing educational assistance, Cynthia and Leonard supported medical interventions, and worked with families and communities to change superstitions connected to disability. Because of these efforts and needs, Kupenda for the Children was registered as an official nonprofit in 2003 with the vision of a fully-integrated society where people of all abilities have access to health, education, and a loving community.