Enabling children with disabilities to achieve their God-given potential
Kupenda for the Children is a Christian-based, nonprofit organization that exists to enable children with disabilities to achieve their God-given potential. Ultimately we want them, along with their families and communities, to understand that they have value and are deserving of love. This is done through advocacy, education, and medical intervention. Kupenda serves children with disabilities such as cerebral palsy, deafness, deformed or missing limbs, spina bifida, the effects of polio, visual impairment, Down’s syndrome, autism, epilepsy, and other physical and intellectual disabilities. Currently Kupenda assists approximately 800 children with disabilities in Kilifi County along the coast of Kenya and just began work in Chalinze Tanzania. In these countries, 60% of the population lives on less than $2 USD per day. This limits the ability of many to meet the basic needs of their children—even those who don’t have disabilities.
Additionally, children with disabilities in the area are often viewed as being “cursed” by God. This is similar to the view held by people in biblical times (John 9). Due to this perception, some parents may keep their children hidden, abandon them, divorce each other because they believe their spouse caused the disability, or even kill the child at birth. Culturally, many people still do not perceive that their child can be anything else other than a beggar. As a direct result of this stigma, it has been estimated that only 10% of people with disabilities ever have the opportunity to attend school, receive an education, or increase their chance of success. Kupenda strives to show that children with disabilities are not only deserving of love and acceptance, but that “the work of God might be displayed in his/her life,” (John 9:3).
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