23 April 2010

Difficult passage...

Wazemba Paul traveled from Mbale in Eastern Uganda for an opportunity to study computers at GBI... he applied and was accepted to begin in September of 2009 but never ended up attending a class... because he couldn't get to the computer lab...

In January nothing changed... the computer lab was still upstairs, Paul was still in a wheelchair and our new campus is still a year away... so we constructed ramps up the stairs but they were too step for wheelchairs and too slick for the other students to walk on...

Plan B... "Paul will you trust us to carry you upstairs?"
 
Now everyday Paul rides his hand-bike through the potholes in Gaba from the room he rents... he is unable to stay in our dormitories because there are too many obstacles for wheelchairs...  

Paul knocks on the gate of the school and waits for the guards to let him in... then he passes through the lobby and transfers from his hand-bike to his wheelchair...
 
Then he waits for two of the stronger male students to carry him up the stairs or someone volunteers to round them up... there are definitely a few students that he won't allow to carry him... I don't blame him for wanting someone who won't drop him... 
 
Paul is a good sport about the whole thing... he doesn't complain... and when people are slow to help he waits... 

I can tell that the extra attention is not something he longs for... it took me weeks to build up the courage just to ask him if I could take pictures... and he graciously accepted...
Living with a disability is a great challenge in any country but in Uganda it is an even greater challenge due to the lack of accessibility to public buildings, businesses, churches and schools...

Paul has a great attitude and he's the type of young man who can overcome great challenges... 

But I wonder how many others don't come because there are too many challenges standing in their way?

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