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Hakim's story

Alice Nabbanja, Community Rehabilitation Officer for Sense International in Uganda describes her work with Hakim:

"Many times I have found children who have been left, forgotten about. You don't find them in the living room, you find them in the darkest room, and that's if they are lucky enough to be in the house. It is our job to bring these children back into the life of their family, and to be accepted by their community.

"I first met Hakim when he was 14. He was naked because no one had ever given him any clothes. He didn't even realise he was naked – how would you know it is not the right way if you can't see other people? If no one has ever let you touch them, how would you know they were wearing clothes?

If you've never touched or seen someone else's hair, how would you know you've got hair?

"So when I met him I let him touch and feel my face and hair – he didn't even know other people had holes in their nose, so he was shoving his finger up my nose! Now that he has learnt and that his family looks after him, he wears clothes – often only pants though as he's not a shirt guy!

"Things have changed a lot for Hakim and he now helps his family with the farming and contributes to the life of his community. Our aim is to get children with disabilities to learn new skills and become more independent.

"There are still many challenges we have to face but we are working hard and will continue to do as much as we can to support and improve the lives of young people who are disabled across Uganda."

First published: Friday 7 June 2013
Last updated: Wednesday 20 September 2017