25th October is here again and it is another opportunity to celebrate an icon of selfless service, a voice for the voiceless and a humanitarian with a passion for women and the young.
At 52 the former first lady, Dame Patience Jonathan, stands tall as a colossus. Her achievements are monumental, one of such achievement was the 35% affirmative action for women which was adopted by the government of the day and the party in power. The former first lady made history and for the first time in Nigeria we had more women in elective and appointive positions. A brief history of this colossus, will suffice. She was born in the Southern part of Nigeria, Rivers State to be precise on the 25th of October 1965, where she had her primary and secondary school education.
Mrs Jonathan proceeded to Rivers State College of arts and science to obtain an NCE certificate in mathematics and biology in 1989. Her desire for further education took her to University of Port Harcourt (UNIPORT) where she obtained a degree in Biology & Psychology. She currently has 4 Honorary Doctorate degrees, one of which is a Honorary Doctorate degree from a South Korean University. The awarding institution, Hansei University, said they honoured Mrs. Jonathan because she had worked “hard for many good causes.” “She is a humanitarian whose life is dedicated to working for the less privileged in Nigeria and Africa particularly for women and children,” President and Chancellor of Hansei University, Sung-Hae Kim said.
The wife of the former British Prime Minister Mrs Cherie Blair and the First Lady of China, Peng Liyuan commended the former First Lady’s commitment to improving the lot of women, through her NGO.
Dame Patience Jonathan has been recognized nationally and internationally for her philanthropic work and political pragmatism. She received the “Beyond The Tears” International Humanitarian Award New York, USA, in 2008, for her role in the global fight against HIV/AIDS; the African Goodwill Ambassador Award (Los Angeles, USA, 2008) .
On behalf of A. Aruera Reachout foundation we say happy birthday