“My favourite part is us enabling underprivileged children to access education and healthcare – and you see them smile. Many times I sit at home and think about it, and say ‘wow, this is amazing’.”
Kaamil Issahaku, Lawra Manager
Kaamil Issahaku turned down a plum job at Lawra Nursing Training School to run Action Through Enterprise’s disability programme in 2018. Now, he’s the new Lawra Manager, with big dreams for the future…
Calm, thoughtful, quiet. Kaamil has a very particular leadership style, kinder, more enabling, more collaborative than often found in the Upper West. It’s one of his great strengths. “I work like the tortoise,” he says, “very slow, very gentle, but we are all aiming at the particular destination. And I am very approachable. Even if I feel anger, I know how to hold myself and get things sorted.”
He’s been getting things sorted in Lawra his whole professional life. For several years, he ran the IT Unit at Lawra Municipal Assembly, overseeing a team and working with senior officials at a regional, national and even international level It was at the Assembly that he first came across Action Through Enterprise. “I would help them, do prints outs or lend them a projector, and I saw the work they were doing, in schools and especially with disabled children. And I wanted to know more.”
“Let me give my best to underprivileged people.”
The opportunity arose in 2018, when the charity decided to recruit a lead for the SNAP disability programme. Kaamil leapt at the chance – “I wanted to leave an indelible mark, helping people who find it hard to speak” – and ATE was delighted to sign him up before he took up a job offer from Lawra nursing college.
Under his guidance, SNAP has gone from strength to strength, with Kaamil overseeing the launch of new groups and an expansion of the work. Rolling out provision of sanitary products to girls and mums in the group was one of his initiatives.
Kaamil also developed the excellent relationships he’d already built up when working at the Municipal Assembly, using them to advocate for SNAP members to get access to the right education and healthcare. Eight-nine disabled children from our groups now attend school – none did before – and some have recently joined our apprenticeship scheme. “The proudest is when I see the SNAP children that we put into trade, we put into school, and I say, ‘oh, this is what we have been able to do.’ Disability is not inability.”
“The baton is now in my hands.”
Over the years, Kaamil’s role has grown, with him deputising for the Country Director when he’s away and working on the expansion to neighbouring Nandom District. His promotion to Lawra Manager feels like a natural next step for the quiet man who always gets to his destination.
“Key to our growth across the Upper West is ensuring Lawra is a Centre of Excellence, “says Chief Exec, Sarah Annable-Gardner. “I can’t think of anyone better to guide the team and guarantee that excellence than Kaamil.”
With ambitious plans for the charity in the future, Kaamil’s success – Lawra’s success – will be the charity’s success. “I believe all the things we do here is what is going to bring the funding,” he says. “To be able to expand further than where we are today, that is how I am looking at it.”
“Kaamil has become a vital asset. His humility and good interpersonal relationships skills are great strengths. I can already see the progress since he took over as Lawra Manager.”
Gabriel Maanibe, Country Director