Most of us have come across the word “management” or “manager.” We define it in different ways and use it as a title somewhere. But, you haven’t really understood the meaning of a manager until you meet Hadija Hassan, AfricAid’s Kisa Project Manager of the Arusha Region.
Hadija grew up in the Kilimanjaro Region in a house full of sisters, led by a very determined mother. Every member of her family is proud of her and strives to become the person that she has become. Hadija has a bachelors degree in Sociology from the University of Dodoma and has worked for and been involved with several organizations before she joined AfricAid. These include Youth of United Nations Association (YUNA), where she served as a Deputy Secretary General, and Tanzania Volunteer Experience, where she worked as an Administrative Manager.
In May, 2014, she joined AfricAid as a Kisa Mentor. She served in this role until July, 2016 when she was promoted to Kisa Project Manager.
Every person in this universe has potential, and realizes it sooner or later. As a manager, Hadija’s potential is to lead and mentor. She is described by the staff as “focused, determined, open-minded and a team player.” Part of management is encouraging others to do their best by directing attention away from yourself and shining a light on the team member, allowing them their chance to shine. Hadija says, “I believe that being a manager is finding satisfaction in helping others to be productive. Not for me to show everyone that I am the most productive person in the room.”
Every AfricAid team member admires Hadija – from the self-confident way she appears to the way she performs her responsibilities. She is a role model and mentor not only to the team that she supervises, but to family and community members, and most importantly to the Kisa Scholars. Hadija is very professional and yet very friendly which creates space for team members to go to her present their concerns and ideas continuous improvement of the organization.
Under Hadija’s supervision, every member of the team has a chance to learn and grow. Her biggest contribution as a supervisor is helping every team member to become the best version of themselves, encouraging everyone to take actions responsibly, decisively and proactively. Being a manager is not telling people how to do things, but to provide encouragement and let them surprise you with their ingenuity.
Hadija inspired a lot of people when she was part of the expedition of Kisa staff, alumnae and sponsors that climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro in January, 2016. Read her account of the experience here.