How We Got Started
While conducting M.S. wildlife research on the coast of Kenya, Founder and Executive Director, Cynthia Bauer, discovered the Gede Home for the Physically Handicapped. Shortly after, her field assistant introduced her to his cousin who assisted the school and its children. It was through this encounter that she discovered many children with disabilities who could not attend school due to an inability to pay their school fees. Others were lacking essential equipment such as hearing aids, artificial limbs, wheelchairs, and simple classroom needs like space and paper.
Since Cynthia had been born without her left hand, she felt particularly drawn to these children. Although she never really considered herself to have a disability, she realized that it had always made her “different.” In fact, at one point she had even encountered a man in Nairobi with her same condition, but instead of having opportunities he was reduced to becoming a beggar. Through both of these experiences, Cynthia felt humbled by the opportunities given to her by her family and culture which had allowed her to be anything she wanted to be. She also realized that the same type of support, if given to these children, would enable them to lead empowered lives as well. She believes that God “comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God” (2 Corinthians 1:11).
Within months of her return to the U.S., Cynthia found sponsors to send 26 of the Kenyan children with disabilities to school. She was also able to raise funds for hearing aids, school supplies, sidewalks, classroom construction, and many other needs. Before long, she began getting inquiries from other schools in need. With the increase in interest from other Kenyan schools and the willingness of Americans to get involved, Kupenda for the Children was born. Today, with your help, we are able to support approximately 600 children and 16 special needs schools! As Cynthia has often expressed, we each have our own “disability” to overcome (though some are more visible than others), yet each of us can use this to become an incredible blessing to these children!
Cynthia Bauer, Founder and Executive Director
with a child of Kupenda