WINDHOEK – A six-year-old boy resting on bended knees, shares porridge from a pot with a little girl as they eat their breakfast.
After they finished eating, the little boy, Jason Gariseb, moves on folded legs with the pot in one hand and places it on a table in their one-room shack.
It is slightly windy and cold outside, so Gariseb and his unemployed mother Alvine Garises, who is sitting on the bed holding her five month-old-baby, are indoors watching television.
At first glance, one would think Gariseb, who looks slightly younger than his age, is able to walk, but he still crawls like a baby.
Gariseb is excited by the sight of a visitor, this journalist, and jumps on his folded knees around the room.
“Since birth, he walked like that. He crawls,” says the mother, who was unable to explain Gariseb’s condition but said the muscles behind his backward facing legs are underdeveloped.
Garises said the boy’s father took his personal documents, including a medical passport and birth certificate and refuses to bring them back.
She is a mother of three, and a resident of Dordabis, east of Windhoek. She is currently visiting her sister at Saamstaan in Greenwell Matongo. Garises is now praying for divine intervention, so that her son can get a wheelchair to allow him to go to school.
“I want my son to go to school, get physiotherapy and hope he will get better and walk,” stated Garises. The mother is hopeful that with physiotherapy, her son’s condition will improve.
Garises also wants kneecaps for Gariseb as his few clothes tears quickly in the knee area. Although Gariseb gets the N$250 monthly disability grant from government, it is barely enough to sustain him or even buy clothes, especially for winter.
The mother adds that his playful son’s condition does not deter him to mingle and play with other children, as he crawls around the impoverished settlement to play with other children.
As the bare-footed boy eagerly illustrate to this reporter how he moves, his mother pointed out that he does not have shoes as he lost the only pair he had while playing in the settlement.