Family Empowerment and Youth Re-Orientation Programme (FEYReP) pet project of Wife of the Akwa Ibom State Governor, Dr Martha Emmanuel says it has extended the Shelter of Hope to other indigent families in the state.
The programme hitherto meant to provide shelter for widows has also been expanded to accommodate other families who could not afford decent accommodation.
Speaking with newsmen in Uyo on Monday, Mrs Emmanuel disclosed that the programme has during the last six-year been used to bring succour to many families without religious or political biases.
On the criteria for selection of beneficiaries, she said that apart from physical assessment of the need of the prospective beneficiaries, she allowed the Holy Spirit to direct her choice.
In her words, “This is another programme that is also dear to me. I was moved to start this Shelter of Hope because I go into communities and I see things with my eye that was how I started it.
“You talked about choice how do we select? In order for it not to be abused by people around me, that is my staff, not to bring his/her relatives and friends.
“If I’m going to a particular Local Government Area, I’ll send them out to the communities, snap different pictures, bring them back to me, so when they bring them back to me. I’ll look at them and will be led by the Holy Spirit to choose and whoever I choose, no matter who is there whether APC, PDP, anyone, that is it. I don’t care where the person is from.
“The last one we did, two months ago, is a man that has 12 children, he is not a widower. So, our Shelter of Hope is not only for widows and the widowers but for the poor in the society.
“Imagine living with 12 children in a hut, grown-up children. So, it was pathetic. I didn’t even know when I chose him. But God showed up for him.
“There is another one with 14 children, not an exaggeration, they are all there and when I picked the house I didn’t know about all these. Though we’ve done a lot for the widows and for the indigent ones in the society,” Emmanuel said.
It is on record that Mrs Emmanuel, through the programme has built and furnished now fewer than 24 bungalows for widows, widowers and indigent ones across the state under the scheme Shelter of Hope programme.