Mulualem Genene, A tireless teacher who understands change starts at a young age:
Mulualem Genene was born and raised in Addis Ababa and spent most of her childhood in a town called Dembi Dello in Wellega region where she attended primary school. When her family moved back to Addis, she continued her secondary school at American Mission girl’s school later called “Yehiwot Berhan”. After accomplishing her secondary school, Mulualem continued her higher education at the Addis Ababa University and graduated in Chemistry with an honor while working at night as an assistant chemist quality control.
After three years of working as a chemist, she left the job she loved dearly because of the health problems that was caused by the chemical reaction in the laboratory. Nevertheless, Mulualem used this situation to search her true passion and purpose in life. Then she made the decision to teach. Mulualem has been teaching at Nazareth Girl’s School, for the past 30 years.
When asked what the secret behind the longevity of her profession and in same school for this long, her response was, not only because she loves the school system, the environment and especially her colleagues but above all the love and dedication she has for teaching young girls, shaping and nurturing them. “Teaching is something that comes from the heart” she says. Her passion in life is to teach and change the mindset of young girls. The smile in her face when she talks about her students is splendid. She simply says these girls are the future and the school is their second home and it is the teacher’s responsibility to shape them.
Her hard work, commitment, respect and dedication do not only reflect on the students but also on the school system. Her presence is a model to most teachers and afforded her the position as the “head teacher”. She believes in giving and creating a conducive environment in the school since it is very essential for shaping the students and giving them a high standard education beyond expectations. Her humbleness, generosity and her selflessness to help others are unique characters that add up to her grace.
In the school and community, Mulualem is known for her charitable works. Under her watch, the school established its “Charity Club” that runs effectively and efficiently for the past 25 years. The Club has an organizing committee, membership recruitment and treasurer. Every year at Christmas, the students collect clothes, food and school materials to donate to different orphanages in the city. Beyond that Mulualem and her students organize visits to different charity organizations to mention but a few, Mother Teresa Foundation, Tesfa Goh and Mekodenia. The essence of the Charity Club is for students to learn the culture of giving and sharing, humanity, respect, love, responsibility and most importantly to help them see themselves through others who are less fortunate than themselves and change their outlook and widen their scope.
Mulualem’s good deeds extend beyond the school compound. She involves the kids in voluntary works: cleaning the community and organizing fund raising activities under the banner of “one meal for one child”.
Mulualem’s dream is to develop young girls with high self- esteem, with a strong foundation that allows them respect their identity and be proud of their roots. Her concern for the young is that they are so impressionable and easily influenced by media, technology, and globalization including peer- pressure that put them at higher risk to overlook their identity easily.
Her biggest achievement in her life is seeing 97% of her students becoming successful, confident and bold. Every encounter of her former students is a story full of success, hope and encouragement. They would return ten, twenty years after to let her know the seeds she has planted have taken roots. The success story of her four biological children adds to the story of a woman whose passion is found in the minds of the young.
What enables Mulualem to thrive as a woman of positive attitude, determination, dedication and commitment? The drive to contribute to the world, strong and intelligent minds that would lead the next generation.
Any advice to other women? She says “a woman has to know her purpose and intention and must go for greater accomplishments. A woman also needs to constantly evaluate herself and her potential and do her bidding with humility and compassion. She always advises her students to be independent when she catches them cheating on exams. She simply teaches them “cheating is a short cut to life that needs an honest and hard work to succeed. Eventually, cheating is short changing your life, she tells them.
“Do your job well always, love the life you live and do the job you love” is Mulualem’s message. AWiB applauds teacher Mulualem and takes comfort in all teachers like her.
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