Binega Hagos

I was born in the small town of Quiha nearly ten KM away from Mekelle, the capital of Tigrai regional state, Ethiopia.  As majority of Ethiopians, I grew up in an average, typical family with my father as the head of the household. As I am the last child in the family, I feel I got all the family’s attention.  The summer season was the real time of happiness for me when I get my friends free of school.

After I finished my high school education in my small village, I joined Addis Ababa University on a competitive base. I was placed in the law school but still for unknown reasons (even to myself), I changed to the school of psychology. Eventually I came to learn that it was the right decision to forgo law given my personality and learning style. Not to exaggerate, but I was an excellent student and able to graduate with a very distinctive grade. In 2009 I joined Mekelle University with the academic rank of GA-I through direct assignment of the Ministry of Education.

In short, in 2010 I received a sandwich program from Bahr Dar (Ethio) and Verja (Belgium) in Masters of higher education. The program was blessing as it allowed me to rejuvenate and incorporate the Ethiopian and foreigners’ curriculum and teaching philosophy.  I feel I have strong motivation to achieve and will strive always to learn. In 2013, I joined Addis Ababa University for another master’s degree in a field which I love, i.e social work.  I still found myself fresh to learn and ready to flourish. My thesis work looked at “the role of community care coalition in providing psychosocial support to HIV/AIDS infected and an affected People” and was really an icebreaker for me to learn and conduct research in humanitarian endeavors.  As psychology research is predominantly quantitative, there is limited room to see the lived experiences of oppressed people, and my MSW thesis work helped me to see the other side of conducting research by going deeper in to the unheard voices of vulnerable people.

I am currently attending my PhD program in anthropology, another science of humanity. I feel I am still a novice and in my early academic career. It is a marvelous opportunity for me to join the ECLIPSE team and I believe I will grow and flourish under this team. So, as a practicing novice researcher, together with the help of like-minded senior researchers, I think I can contribute to the wider policy discourse on how to promote the wellbeing of vulnerable groups in particular, and to the psychological and social challenges of the community in general.