Equipping Community Leaders as Disability Advocates

A training program that equips community leaders to support quality care for disability, and curtail harmful traditional practices.

In Kenya, traditional healers and other community leaders have a strong influence on the beliefs and practices of people within their community. Many support the view that disabilities are the result of curses, witchcraft, incest or sin, which often leads to the discrimination, neglect, abuse, or even murder of children with disabilities. Often times these community leaders also encourage families to pursue local remedies instead of medical care, leading to increased morbidity and mortality among children with disabilities. Kupenda’s trainings help community leaders learn more accurate information about the definitions, causes and treatments for various disabilities and the needs and rights children with disabilities. At the end of the trainings, participants develop action plans that guide them in replacing harmful beliefs and practices with scientifically accurate information and appropriate care and referrals for children with disabilities. Pilots of the community leader training program have demonstrated success to date, and Kupenda will be working with Amplify’s Design team to explore ways to effectively expand and share this model in new contexts.