PENANG, MALAYSIA: The heartwarming struggles and personal story of Wawasan Open University’s senior lecturer, Jasmine Emmanuel, emerged as the winner under the single mum category in the #Choose to Challenge video contest held in conjunction with International Women’s Day.
Emmanuel, who is also Head of WOU’s Centre for Foundation Studies, won RM500 which she pledged towards a single mother student of the university.
Her video depicts how she generously took in students irrespective of culture and race, especially from East Malaysia and fostered them, providing them lodging, love and family support as they pursued their studies in Penang. Her husband, V. Chanderasekaran, passed away some years after they had opened up their home and she continued this labour of love as a single mum.
The video contest organised by the Penang Women’s Development Corporation (PWDC) aimed to highlight and celebrate women’s achievements despite facing various odds.
Emmanuel was presented with a mock cheque worth RM500 by Tan Lean Kee, the wife of Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow, at the state-level International Women’s Day celebration on 27 March 2021 .Also present were State Women and Family Development and Gender Inclusiveness Committee chairman Chong Eng and PWDC chief executive officer Ong Bee Leng. The event held by the PWDC at a private hotel in Seberang Jaya was attended by 100 finalists of the video contest.
Emmanuel is one of the pioneers of WOU, having been with the University for over 15 years. She had nurtured, empowered and brought up her diverse, multicultural family, with love, care and empathy. They have all grown up since, with many of them having families of their own, but they still keep in touch and remain dear to her heart. She extends the same nurturing and guidance to the students of WOU so that they too become good citizens and skilled members of the workforce.
In expressing her joy and also her gratitude to PWDC for the opportunity to share her family’s story, she remarked, “This family of various cultures would not have happened without the grace of God, my late husband, and my precious children.” She urged, “May we continuously choose to challenge ourselves to become all that we were created to accomplish in this life and be a blessing to others.”