The level of stigmatization that children with disabilities face in Kenya can be overwhelming. Not only do children feel this stigma, but their families are often maligned and ostracized as well. Because of this, parents of children with disabilities are often left without support from their communities and neighbors. One way that Kupenda helps these parents is by creating and facilitating parent support groups. One such group is the Upendo Parent Support Group. The parents who attend this support group are empowered and educated about the rights of their children and gain invaluable emotional support from the other members. Learn more about the Upendo Support Group here.
Kupenda recently facilitated a meeting between 13 different parent support groups and the community leaders who we had trained to establish and support these groups. During this meeting the participants discussed their success, challenges, and ideas for ways to strengthen their groups. The 13 groups represented over 200 children with disabilities. One of the parents, while describing the impact of her parent support group, said, “The community that once told us our children were cursed and should be killed are now helping to take care of our children [and] allowing single mothers in our group to go to work”. Read more about this meeting and our parent support groups here.
Kupenda supports fathers of children with disabilities through family counseling, parent support groups, and parent training activities. All of this leads to more supportive fathers who know how to empower their children and advocate for their rights. One of our trained dads recently said, “My child has been treated with kindness because I accepted him as my child, and the rest of the community followed my footsteps.” Click here to read more about our work with fathers and hear their feedback about the impact of our parent support programs.