Deepak Kaul is soft spoken. He pauses thoughtfully before he replies and answers with a lot of humility (despite being a software designer for NASA!). When I interviewed Deepak earlier this week I wanted to understand why he has supported Kupenda for so long and what inspired him to start giving monthly last year. His feedback was honest and simple. It reminded me of how lucky Kupenda is to have a community of intelligent, passionate supporters with huge hearts. We hope you enjoying this conversation with our long-term friend, Deepak Kaul.
Jessica: Why do you give to Kupenda when there are so many other charities?
Deepak: When you give to an organization you’re not always sure what’s happening with your money. But I’ve known Cindy since 2005 and I trust her. I just can see the genuineness in what she is doing and what she describes as being called to do. And having a disability herself – how that has a strong connection with the people she’s helping.
Jessica: How did you decide to give so generously?
Deepak: I try to give 10% of my income. I used to go to church and [tithe] so that’s why I came up with that amount. 10% seems like a good amount to give back to society. That number stuck with me.
Jessica: Why did you decide to give monthly?
Deepak: I’ve always wanted to support the organization but I never got around to it. I decided, let’s just a make it so it’s an automatic — so I don’t have to think about it.
Jessica: How do you feel about Kupenda’s mission?
Deepak: I see how difficult it is for people [with disabilities]. When I see people who are wheelchair-bound I know how difficult it is to get around… it’s hard to maneuver. Even with just opening a door. I always imagine all the extra steps they have to think about.
Jessica: Does the fact that we’re working in Kenya impact your giving?
Deepak: I imagine how many amenities we have in the US and how difficult it is even for someone with a disability in the US. I can’t imagine how much more difficult it would be for someone in Kenya and plus the animosity toward them. Here there’s a lot of structure and many [disability] organizations; in Kenya there’s not a lot of organizations like Cindy’s helping them.
Jessica: You mentioned the animosity towards people with disabilities in Kenya. How do you feel about that?
Deepak: From what Cindy’s told me there’s a lot of negative feelings about [disability] in Kenya. [Those with disabilities] are outcast. People view disabilities as some kind of punishment, like they are being punished for being sinful. So people are less likely to help them because they feel like it’s their own problem — that they’ve caused it.”
Jessica: Any final thoughts you want to share?
Deepak: I feel like Cindy does a really good job trying to help kids. I trust her motivations. Cindy is trustworthy. I don’t have to worry about where my money is going. I know sometimes things happen and people do dishonest things. Cindy does what she can to make sure things are ethical and to make sure the charity is valuable to people’s self-esteem. So people with disabilities know they have value.”
Join Deepak in providing regular, life-saving support to children with disabilities by signing up to give a one-time donation, a monthly gift, or through a $30 monthly child sponsorship.