Reaching Rwanda: Kupenda’s Partnership with Uwezo Youth Empowerment

by Lauren Blair

rwanda student

One of Kupenda’s main missions is to share its disability inclusion strategies and tools with other organizations so that a greater number of people impacted by disability can become more active participants in their communities. Recently, this included meeting with Uwezo Youth Empowerment, a Disabled Persons’ Organization (DPO) in Rwanda that combats the stigma, prejudice, and exclusion of people with disabilities by promoting and cultivating quality education, youth mentorship, access to employment, sexual and reproductive health (SRH) initiatives, and other skills programs for successful, independent living.

Sharing Strategies

Last November, Kupenda staff in Kenya were connected to Uwezo through the Micah 6:8 Foundation, a long-term supporter of Kupenda’s work. Over a four-day period, Kupenda’s Kenyan staff demonstrated the various aspects of its child sponsorship program, took Uwezo representatives to visit Kupenda-supported schools, and provided testimonies from pastors who have been trained as disability advocates through our Disability Training Workshops.

Representatives from both organizations shared their passion for supporting people with disabilities and the strategies that have created the greatest positive influences in their communities.

Hope for the Future

According to Bahati S. Omar, founder of Uwezo,

“[Kupenda in Kenya] is full of blessings from the graceful work you are doing every single day that directly touches lives of thousands of children with disabilities in need. … We acquired a lot in a short time that we are reflecting on. … We are surely confident that this visit will lead to a lasting partnership … for creating a meaningful impact on youth with disabilities in Rwanda and Kenya.”

Kupenda is hopeful that partnerships like that with Uwezo will continue to create more locally led, sustainable programs that foster a wider landscape of acceptance, inclusion, and opportunity that people with disabilities deserve and need to thrive.


 

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About the Author


Lauren Blair
Lauren Blair


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