A faith-based charity organisation, ONEJ CARE Foundation, says it has distributed about N10 million to some 120 poor and vulnerable widows in Abuja as start-up grants for petty businesses.
Its Executive Director, Ms Offiong Anyanwu, said in a statement on Friday that the gesture was part of its efforts to empower and rehabilitate widows whose livelihoods had been cut short by their husbands’ demise.
“We aim at re-integrating women and the girl-child with a particular focus on widows and orphans back into the society through the strategy tagged `C.A.R.E.’ (Counselling, Advisory, Rehabilitation and Empowerment),” she said.
Anyanwu noted that the Foundation organised a ‘love and care’ event for widows on Valentine’s Day to share love with them and their wards and also to distribute gifts, clothing items and provisions.
She said the Foundation was established to put smiles on the faces of poor widows and orphans that might have been forgotten by the society, especially during special periods of celebrations.
“Most of them received business start-ups of N50,000 each and this is the first time in many years we were visiting these women on a Valentine’s Day. In the past couple of years, we have impacted the lives of several widows by offering quarterly business start-up grants, facilitating seminars, empowerment programs and skills acquisitions and trainings.
“We usually organise a ‘Live Care Share Day’ for these widows four times a year on specific days. We have also organised a `Back to School Programme’ for their wards by paying their children’s school fees for the year. We are not only committed to highlighting the challenges faced by widows, but we are also keen on proffering solutions that can resolve these challenges,” she added.
Anyanwu said that the Foundation was into vocational training where widows were taught how to produce liquid soaps, body cream, hand sanitisers and other products so they could be self-reliant.