Man who has crawled all life receives surprise tricycle

Father Edward Nyakundi of Nyamagwa Parish blesses a wheel chair dinated to Samuel Mayaka by former Chief Administrative Secretary Gender and Social Services Josphine Chepkoech at Nyamagwa Catholic church on January 15, 2023. [Sammy Omingo,Standard]

Sunday was not a usual day for Samuel Mayaka Onsarigo, 35, a man who has crawled his entire life.

He was born with paralysed lower limbs and has speech impairment, a disability that makes it even difficult to communicate with other people.

As a result, Onsarigo has never been enrolled in any learning institution to learn even basic sign language.

So difficult it has been for him to move around with his hands and knees that even the flexibility of his fingers has been affected.

For as many days he can remember, he has never skipped even a single church service at Nyamagwa Catholic Church despite his difficulties.

On Sunday, Mayaka received a new year gift of a tri-cycle which he said will relief him from the pain he has been experiencing when moving from one place to another, especially on the rough terrains in his Igare village.

The assistive device was handed to Mayaka by former Chief Administrative Secretary for Gender and Social Services Josephine Chepkoech.

Chepkoech said she took the initiative after witnessing Mayaka's troubles while on a work tour of the area back in 2018.

"I have never had peace of mind since 2018 when I first saw this youth crawling in chilly weather and when I managed to procure this device, I was not sure if I will find him but I thank God he has received it," Chepkoech said.

Mayaka who was orphaned at an early age has been receiving support from neighbours and close relatives.

"We have seen him grow and all along he has never received any kind of support from anywhere except his kin. We usually pity him especially when he is moving around when it has rained but with this tricycle he will be more comfortable," Mayaka's aunt, Martha Moraa said.

Nyamagwa Parish Father Edward Nyakundi said the church had planned to have a charity for him but this wheel chair arrived before the plans. But we still shall support him in other ways," Nyakundi said.

Joash Kinara, the Chairman of People Living with Disabilities in Bobabsi Constituency said there remains many people with various challenges who are yet to be listed because families don't recognize rights of such people.

"Disabled persons have every right to everything. There are so many of them who are yet to be accorded their rights because they are hidden in homes. A greater percentage of these people are denied rights to education and community should play role in bringing this to an end," Kinara said.

The rights activists and the Church have asked communities to be actively involved in identifying cases of children with disabilities and ensure they are known by government to be listed to benefit from social protection programs.