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 Date: 21 Nov 2019  Category:

AGAINST ALL ODDS – THE STORY OF PHILIP NUAMAH

Did you know that approximately 2.2million Ghanaians are persons living with disability in Ghana? The disability population is estimated at 10% of the total population of the country, the rights and capabilities of persons living with disability in Ghana are rarely recognized. Though there are documented policies, implementing these policies is very limited.

Persons with disability suffer a lot of challenges in the workforce, mainly because they are seen as people who are incapable of producing efficient results, they are mostly relegated to professions that require vocational skills rather than white-collar jobs but, Philip Nuamah a 28-year-old graduate of the University of Education (Winneba) challenged these stereotypes of persons living with disability and beat all odds. He completed with a Bachelor of Science in Business Management in 2018.

After a successful 4-year education at the University of Education (Winneba), he started his National Service in September at Osei Tutu Senior High School, an all-boys senior high school at the Atwima Nwabiagya District in the Ashanti Region.

As a person living with disability, he journeyed for several minutes from Adankwame every working day to his school to teach Business Management to the first-year students of the school while serving as the NASPA general secretary for the Atwima Nwabiagya district, subsequently he was transferred to the schools Accounts department and worked as accountant till the end of his service year.

Phillip had several challenges living with disability in a school environment which had infrastructures which were not conducive for a person living with a disability.

He had to adjust to the terrain despite his challenges, but these difficulties didn’t stop him from going to work every single day without a leave of absence.

He worked assiduously from morning to about 8 pm sometimes.

Transportation was a huge challenge for Phillip in terms of the duration it took to get to the school and back home.

He took about three vehicles to Akropong where his school was situated taking him a maximum of an hour and thirty minutes to get to his destination. As a result, he could not be in early for some of his classes.

This put a strain and toll on his body as a person living with disability and the worst of it was the cost of it as he had to rely solely on his service allowance to keep body and soul together.

In the midst of all these, his source of motivation was the fact that he was making an impact in the lives of the students he taught and was passionate to see the best out of every student.

Phillip voluntarily organized extra tutorials for students who faced challenges with Business management as a course and changed the mentality of a number of them who did not like the course hence failed to perform well in quizzes and examinations.

A lot of them were not good in class but when I finish teaching, I talk to them a lot and share my story with them and tell them how far I’ve been able to go, so they should continue to push harder”, he related.

Emmanuel Agodzie was one of such students who were influenced and encouraged by Philip’s story and invaluable pieces of advice, despite his challenges with his course. He started showing great improvements in his academics and came out with good results in his tests.

Phillip’s passion and determination saw him through most gloomy days and periods as service personnel. His desire to see others get better and the motivation to transform the lives of the students he came to know throughout his service year was what got him recognition from the National Service scheme where he was awarded along with three other outstanding service personnel for the 2018/2019 service year.

He appealed to stakeholders and institutions to consider persons with a disability when constructing buildings such as schools, hospitals, office complex etc. He further intoned that persons with disability should not look down on themselves but rather think of what they can do.

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Source: NSS Corporate Affairs Directorate

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