Her Excellency, Dr Martha Udom Emmanuel is the wife of the governor of Akwa Ibom State, His Excellency, Mr. Udom Emmanuel. She is a Biochemist and a successful aqua culturist. Through her compassionate spirit, God-fearing heart and belief in the wellbeing of humanity, she has used her office to advance the cause of the less privileged and vulnerable people in our society.
Over the years, she has brought a sunny disposition to the indigent and the forlorn, thereby proving that there is light at the end of the tunnel.
Through the instrumentality of her internationally acclaimed Non-Governmental Organization: Family Empowerment and Youth Re-orientation Path Initiative (FEYReP), she has clearly amplified the profoundly inspiring proclamation of the late British Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher that “if you want something said, ask a man; if you want something done, ask a woman.” She is a living testimony of that Thatcherian invocation.
Through FEYReP, she has ignited in our youth a new sense of faith predicated on the Dakkada philosophy, which challenges citizens to tap into their inherent gifts and talents and use them to rise to the faith of greatness. She has also accentuated family values based on sound moral conducts for a better society.
Through the “Girls Uphold your Dignity programme,” she has provided sexual education to young girls who may otherwise have become vulnerable to early pregnancy and instilled in them a sense of self dignity. Rape, a social menace that has traumatized many young girls, is an issue she has handled with remarkable enthusiasm.
Taking cognizance of the societal pressure the boy-child is equally faced with, Dr. Martha Emmanuel has also inaugurated a Boy-child campaign in the state, tagged: “Bright Future for Responsible Boys”. This is a platform where primary and secondary school boys are mentored against indulging in vices such as cultism, rape, premarital relationship and drug abuse. According to her, “we cannot be raising the girl-child to uphold her dignity while the boy-child is left unattended to, it would imply that our work is incomplete.”
Education, they say, is priceless. Therefore, FEYReP’s “Back-to-School” programme is focused on re-kitting school children with personal effects and stationery to better prepare them for the school year. It has been observed that children who are without basic school kits have confidence issues to the point of impacting their overall academic performance. Dr Emmanuel has given over 195 scholarships to undergraduates and an additional student’s support/grants to over 426 students at the secondary and tertiary levels.
She has also built a refectory and kitchen at the Special Education Centre for children with a population of over 100 as part of her efforts to support and encourage a conducive environment for learning.
To further raise successful families, she launched “Get a Skill” programme. This is geared towards empowering female youth across the state with entrepreneurial skills for self-reliance.
Her “Shelter of Hope” programme has helped built 60 houses and counting for widows and other economically disadvantaged men and women.
With the “Right to Rise” programme, the physically challenged are not left out in FEYReP’s programmes as there is ability in every disability. Over 2000 of them have been empowered with financial grants for businesses as well aspackages such as Braille paper, wheelchairs, and the gesture is ongoing.
Health they say is wealth. There is no gainsaying that a healthy citizenry makes a productive workforce. To this end, FEYReP has made significant progress in contributing to the reduction of several leading causes of death and diseases within Akwa Ibom population by undertaking a yearly medical intervention programme for indigent members of our communities such as Eye Restoration Scheme (Eyeris) reaching over 15,000 persons, Mass Deworming exercise with over 48,520 children, and Free Surgical Care with 6,468 beneficiaries. As a result, life expectancy has increased significantly.
She has provided health and nutritional education as well as delivery kits to pregnant women and cash grants to multiple families through her “Pregna-care and Multiple Birth Outreach Programmes.”
Other health interventions include a baby born without anus had anus reconstructive surgery, while 4 babies born without genital organs had genital reconstructive surgery. Free Goitre jawbone re-constructive surgery was offered to 4 patients, 4 corrective surgeries for people with bone malformation at Ukana Iba; 6 youths between the ages of 21-28 have received surgery for brain tumour, while a Primary Health Care was built at Obio Akpa in Oruk Anam Local Government Area.
Similarly, to complement the government’s effort in healthcare delivery, FEYReP has made donations of equipment and consumables to health centres in the state. This goal is to support and strengthen public healthcare system in our communities.
With the drive to give the womenfolk a better business environment to trade, FEYReP has a project tagged: “Market Remodelling” where several markets are remodelled with open, lock up stalls, and slaughter within the three senatorial districts of the state.
The latest in her list of towering accomplishments is the “FEYReP Multipurpose Cooperative Society,” a platform she uses to disburse interest-free loans to rural women to boost their businesses. FEYReP has reached out to over 10,000 rural women across the three senatorial districts.
Her Excellency, Dr (Mrs) Martha Emmanuel, has received several recognitions from international, national and state organizations.
She is a devout Christian and is blessed with lovely children.