Gabriel

Gabriel’s story is an extreme case of vulnerability. Seeing him rolling himself on the dirty, filthy, bumpy streets going over rocks and pot holes and all was surreal. With worn out wooden sandals in his hands he would prop himself up so his head wouldn’t get hurt. His knees were wrapped in layers of rags and he wore a torn shirt and ripped pants which probably had not been washed in ages. Most likely, he did not have a shower or a wash for months. He didn’t seem human. He showed no emotion. A gut-wrenching sight!

Gabriel was born with a severe case of cerebral palsy and he was unable to use his legs. His disability was a huge burden for his large and very poor family; so, they abandoned him on the streets. To survive, Gabriel learned how to roll on the streets. For forty years, he would roll from door to door and shop to shop in Kasese. Seeing him in such a pathetic situation, community members took pity on him. They would give him some food or money. But, that was never enough.

Finally, the Imam of a nearby Mosque could not bear to see Gabriel in that state any longer and gave him shelter. But, the Imam himself had limited means and could not do anything more for Gabriel. So, Gabriel continued rolling on the streets and lived on generosity of others. That’s how he grew up.

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