This Lead Direct Support Professional changes the lives of four Maule Lane residents by supporting their dreams and mobilizing their possibilities.
By Sydney Kerelo
Almost seven years ago, Alimamy Saccoh began working at KenCrest as the Lead Direct Support Professional (DSP) at the Maule Lane Community Living home, changing the lives of the four gentlemen he supports: Michael, Joe, Ralph, and Thomas.
As a DSP, Saccoh helps each individual live a meaning-filled life while supporting them when it comes to their medical, mental, and physical health. According to Opportunity Village, “a DSP is a person who provides direct care and support to people with disabilities. They assist with daily living activities such as grooming, household chores, and transportation while working in various settings like the client’s home, a group home, or a community-based setting.” As the DSP, Saccoh is each resident’s caregiver and life coach, helping guide their daily living activities, communication, and general housekeeping tasks like meal prepping.
“I love my job and helping out the guys in my home and making sure they achieve their goals,” says Saccoh. “I love taking them out and seeing the happiness on their faces. Recently, Joe went on a date with his girlfriend, and I loved seeing how happy it made him.”
At first, he didn’t know if he wanted to work as a DSP; he was at another company when his wife, who was working at KenCrest then, mentioned the idea of Saccoh working there too. She knew this position was meant for him because he is dedicated, passionate, and thoroughly enjoys working with people in need. And once he started at KenCrest, he instantly fell in love.
“You have to have empathy in this job; you have to put yourself out there and understand the people you support,” says Cynthia Barjolo, the Program Manager for Maule Lane. “I find that Ali is not just doing this because it’s fun; he’s doing it because he has that empathy and passion. He truly loves what he’s doing.”
RELATED: Celebrate DSP Week With KenCrest
And the individuals he supports love him just as much. Every time Saccoh walks into the Maule Lane home, he is greeted with bright smiles, cheery faces, and incredible happiness. Each resident, program manager, and DSP lights up whenever he enters the room, and all four guys and Saccoh have such comradery, laughing at each other’s jokes and talking endlessly about what’s going on in their lives.
One of his favorite memories from his time as a DSP at Maule Lane was taking a trip to Lancaster, where they took an incredible train ride and made many memories. They plan to visit Ocean City, Maryland, to explore the town and lounge on the beach this September.
Saccoh regularly takes trips with Joe, Ralph, Thomas, and Michael, taking them on vacations or visiting the local mall. Every week, he takes the gentleman to Meals on Wheels, where they volunteer, packing food into the right boxes, and then they’ll carry them out. “I love helping them do it, too,” he laughs.
After almost seven years working at KenCrest, Saccoh saw all the good work the Organization was doing for individuals with disabilities and was inspired to start his own foundation in Freetown, Sierra Leone. Founded in April, the Our Family Foundation helps support people with disabilities, children who don’t have a parent, or anyone needing extra assistance. While the foundation began a few short months ago, Saccoh has already broken ground on a possible building in Freetown and has given away various t-shirts and hats to those in the capital city.
“It’s a journey I’m ready to take,” says Saccoh. “I want to help anybody in need back home, which could be widows, children who don’t have moms or dads, or people with disabilities.”