“Education, Knowledge and Development Have no End,”

By Luwam Kahsay H.

Our guest today is Mrs. Luwam Tuumzghi Tesfay, Head of Human Resources Develop­ment at Segen Construction Company. Mrs. Luwam, a 30-year-old mother, is very much into art as well, working as a decorator especially during weekends. One wonders how she is able to juggle the three big tasks.

Can you tell us your educational background?

I started my elementary school in Australia and completed it in Asmara. I attended junior and high school in Kenya. I went to Sawa with the 23rd round to complete my national military service. As a child I was interested in art such as architecture and decoration. I studied Business Management at the Business college in Halhale.

What happened next?

After being assigned as a teacher for a year following my graduation, I have been working in Segen Construction Company. Initially I was a personnel officer and at the moment I am the director general of Human Resources Department. My work is mostly related to giving training such as on-the-job training to develop the capacity of our members and giving training to people from other companies at our training center in Gash Barka’s Kailai project. My first experience at the project was in 2020. It involved giving training in accounting, store management, plumbing and others to youth from the 33rd round who didn’t make it to college.

Anything that inspired you while working at the project?

What I recall most in the training at the Kailai project is the training given to 43 women to help them improve their living conditions. The women, who didn’t know how to drive, now have 4th grade driving license and have been working for a long time. What makes it different is that the trainees were all women and that their dedication and their ability boosted my morale, encouraging me to do more.

You are also a mom. How do you maintain the balance between your fulltime job and house work?

To be honest, I wouldn’t have been in the position I am today without the friendliness of the department I work in. My boss, who is really my second mom, in particular always encourages me to deal with everything coming my way. The support of my family, my husband and my in-laws urges me to do well. Being a mom has made me more passionate, energetic and motivated in every aspect of my life. If you don’t allow situations to dictate your life, I don’t think it can be difficult. And if other people do believe in you, how can you not succeed? Anything at the beginning can be difficult but once you start dealing with it, it shows you the way.

I heard you engage in other activities in addition to your fulltime job.

Yes, you are right. I also work as a decorator for different occasions such as wedding ceremonies, bridal showers and baptism and decorate stages. My interest in art began when I was little, starting from arranging our home. When I go to wedding parties, unlike other guests, I always look at the place and think of ways to improve the decoration. I started this career in January 2019.

What sacrifices do you have to make to engage in more than one job?

There are some but aren’t a big deal. For instance, there are times when you get home late as you have to wait until the ceremonies end. I believe it all depends on how you manage your time. Of course, my fulltime government’s job always comes first. And the good thing about decorating is that it is done in my spare time, at weekends.

But it is the support of my family, especially my mom and my deceased father who invested in me my whole life to turn me into the person I am today, that enables me to juggle my government’s job, my work as a decorator and house work. My in-laws are also very supportive. All in all, I can say that my sacrifices are shared by my family.

Any advice to women who have graduated but do not work.

Statistics show the number of women graduating from college has been increasing, but what’s the point if they don’t work and apply what they have learned.

I would like to remind women that nothing is impossible for them to achieve if they have the desire and commitment to do it. What is required is taking the initiative and education.

I also call on organizations to pay special attention to women and give them the support they need.

Future plans…

I believe that education, knowledge and development have no end. If I get the opportunity, I would really love to go to graduate school and have a master’s degree. I would also love to take short-term courses related to my career.

Thanks for your time.