The Vice-Chancellor, Michael Okpara University of Agriculture Umudike (MOUAU) Abia State, Prof. Maduebibisi Ofo Iwe has lauded the Director, Centre for Gender, Youth and Child Development, MOUAU, Prof. Mabel Ifeoma Onwuka, on her international award on community services from Women World Summit Foundation (WWSF) Geneva Switzerland.
Prof. Iwe who disclosed this during the certificate presentation to Prof. Onwuka at the university, revealed that the Professor of Soil Science has been rendering selfless services to rural women within and outside Abia State, which attracted a prestigious recognition and award to her.
The award, according to the Vice- Chancellor was from the WWSF Geneva Switzerland, who annually rewards women for improving the lives of the rural women.
He noted that 10 laureates of women in creativity in rural life across the globe were awarded and MOUAU was lucky to have their own, Prof. Mabel Onwuka, being among the first five women selected.
The Professor of Food Science also noted that others that made the list were from Burkina Faso, Malawi, France, Argentina and India
In his words: “Prof. Onwuka has been teaching novel technological skills in agriculture to rural women as well as distributing free farm inputs to them”.
He further urged staff of MOUAU to keep on working hard project, market, sustain the goodness of the institution as people are getting more interested in what they are doing at the institution.
The climax of the occasion was the presentation of the certificate on behalf of Women’s World Summit Foundation by the Vice-Chancellor, Michael Okpara University of Agriculture Umudike (MOUAU) Abia State, Prof. Maduebibisi Ofo Iwe.
Women’s World Summit Foundation 2023 Prize for Women’s Creativity in Rural Life was launched to honor women and women’s groups around the world who exhibit exceptional creativity, courage and commitment for the improvement of the quality of life in rural communities.
Information gathered revealed that the prize is aimed at drawing international attention to laureates’ contributions to sustainable development, household food security and peace, thus; generating recognition and support for their projects.
From 1994 to date, WWSF has awarded 486 women around the world with prizes who are working towards the eradication of rural poverty, gender mainstreaming and women’s empowerment.
According to WWSF, Prof Onwuka won the prize because of her passion to add value to humanity, through training rural women, farmers and girls in using waste organic materials, compost and biochar (a soil condition) to improve soil nutrients and crop yields.
She managed to translate complex research results into simple practical terms that made meaning to the farmers. Apart from the technical training on improving their agricultural techniques, she has also helped build their capacity in leadership skills, their rights as women and other important social issues. (https://www.woman.ch/campaign-17-days/wwsf-prize-for-womens-creativity-in-rural-life-2/)
In her response, Prof. Onwuka said that he was grateful to God for the opportunity given her to touch lives.
In her words: “I am excited to know that my secret efforts to reach out to rural women has been acknowledged and rewarded openly”.
She further thanked, Women’s World Summit Foundation for the award, the MOUAU VC, Prof. Iwe, for the reception, all the rural women she had worked with and her family members.
Prof Onwuka added that she would not relent in reaching out the rural communities.
Contributing, one of the rural women from Umudike community, Mrs Adamma Nwadinobi thanked Prof. Onwuka and the University for their roles towards enhancing food security in the rural communities and beyond, through their various workshops, knowledge sharing and distribution of free farm inputs.
She called for its sustenance, adding that it has helped their farming activities in the rural communities a great deal.
Those present at the event were some of the University’s Principal Officers: Dr ( Mrs) N. C. Mbanasor (Registrar), Dr. Isaac Ogbonna (Librarian), Mr Ugochukwu Ironkwe (Bursar), Mr Ndubuisi Mgbemena (Internal Auditor).
Other staff of the University present were Dr. (Mrs) N. N. Iwe (Wife of the Vice- Chancellor/ President of MOUAUWA), Prof V. E. Osodeke (National President, ASUU), Prof Ike Nwachukwu, Prof. D. O. Asawalam, Prof V. O. I. Ndirika, Prof G. I. Onwuka, Prof N. E. Obasi, Dr. (Mrs). S. C. Chikezie), Dr. ( Mrs). N. K. Achi, Mr. Chibueze Onyejuruwa, staff from the VC’s office, Public Relations Office (PRO) unit, some rural women farmers among others.