Firsts

Jane Ekong

Life in Saskatchewan

Jane immigrated in 1975 to join her husband Chris who had arrived in 1974

Ancestry

Born in Oron, South East Nigeria.

Contributions

Firsts, Health, Education, Philanthropy, Community Building

In 2012, Jane was a candidate in the Regina Civic Elections and was elected as a Trustee in Subdivision1 (the first person of African Descent to be elected to political office Southern Saskatchewan) for the Regina Public School n Board. She served two terms (8 years) before choosing not to seek re-election in 2020 because of the increased responsibility placed on her by the Charity she founded in 2014 {Amakon Women Empowerment Inc. (AWE)}. This charity is missioned to promote women’s success by providing disadvantaged women and girls access to success enhancing tools. This will be expounded upon later. AWE has positively impacted the lives of several Saskatchewan women and girls.

Jane Ekong is a quiet but fun loving, inquisitive, optimistic and very active lady. She had stayed back at Ibadan to complete her degree in Biochemistry after Chris left for Canada. She joined him a year later and they were married in Saskatoon. They started a family soon thereafter. After a few years the family moved to Toronto, and after Chris completed his Residency program there, Jane returned to school and completed a Master of Science Degree in Biochemistry at the University of Toronto.

Jane’s ambition had been to pursue a doctorate in Biochemistry. However, her circumstances in Regina forced her to defer that ambition for many years. When her last child was in her senior years of high school, Jane returned to school. She wanted to continue her pursuit of Biochemistry, but soon discovered that Science moves at a very fast pace and after about two decades away from the field, catching up was a daunting battle.  She chose to pursue Psychology instead. She started from scratch (Psyc 100) and continued to graduation with a PhD from the University of Calgary. Her area of interest was Health Psychology with particular attention to chronic diseases and chronic pain management, and healthy lifestyle counselling. She was employed at the Wascana Rehabilitation Centre and also operated a private clinic.

Jane volunteered and served at home and abroad with some pertinent charities. These included the Soul’s Harbour Mission Drop-in Centre (now North Central Family Centre), Habitat for Humanity, Haiti Missions, and Compassion Canada, where she is also an Advocate who informs others about the plight poor children in developing countries, and encourages them to sponsor some of the children.

Jane is a Founding Member and was Co-Chair of Saskatchewan African Canadian Heritage Museum Inc. (SACHM). In 2012, she was recognized and honored by the Rick Hansen Foundation and CTV as a Canadian National Difference Maker.

Jane took early retirement. Although she is still involved with many of the above charities, she expends most of her energy at managing Amakon Women Empowerment  which she founded. AWE assists and helps at-risk, pregnant and parenting teen girls stay and complete high school.

This charity also provides free computer skills training to disadvantaged women and girls, and female new Canadians, to facilitate and enhance their employability. Beginning in the Fall of 2021, AWE will also provide free digital entrepreneurial skills training to women and girls who want to start their own businesses.

AWE trains Seniors on the use of social media to boost their ability to connect with friends and family, thereby precluding loneliness and depression. All of AWE’s classes and services are free of charge.

Jane enjoys being involved in benevolent Christian activities, dancing, cooking, gardening and various physical activities.  She is an eternal resilient optimist, and a life-long learner.