Lagos– Wife of Lagos State Governor, Mrs. Bolanle Ambode has expressed concern over the plights of widows in the country, occasioned by the current economic downturn and called on corporate organizations, individuals to come to the aid of widows in the country and particularly, Lagos State.
Ambode made the remarks, yesterday, during an empowerment programme where 103 widows in Lagos State were given empowerment items through her pet project, Hope for Women in Nigeria Initiative (HOFOWEM).
The beneficiaries were equipped with skill acquisition such as; fashion designing, catering, tailoring, bead making, hair- dressing, soap making.
Other materials given included: whipping machines, industrial gas, cookers, professional cameras, photocopiers, grinding machines, among others to the widows who were categorised into three.
Speaking at the presentation of the empowerment materials to beneficiaries, Ambode lamented the challenge faced by widows in the country, pointing out that the overall objective was to ensure that the women were able to live happily, depending more on themselves upon the death of their husbands. She added that the foundation launched the initiative to further compliment the robust programmes of Governor Akinwunmi Ambode’s administration for women and children in the areas of economic empowerment, rights protection, health and education, among others.
According to her, the widows needed urgent support and the foundation has deemed it fit to empower those that require skill acquisition for relatively young widows; those that require equipment support to stablise their businesses and those that require financial assistance to expand their businesses.
Ambode said the Foundation decided that it would be best to train younger widows for them to have particular skills that could rely upon to generate regular income by themselves. “As a result, the relatively young widows will be trained in skills of their choice and would be supported with equipment upon graduation, while equipment support and financial assistance will be given to the other two categories of women,” she said.
Ambode also promised payment of monthly allowances to those that would be going for the skill acquisition. “It is also the objective of this programme to properly educate and enlighten the women on their matrimonial rights under the law.
We cannot pretend to be ignorant of the cultural and social problems that women face upon the death of their husbands, including accessing whatever was left behind by their beloved ones. “To properly enlighten and advise them on the legal steps to take for redress is the reason we included the rights education segment in this programme,” Ambode added.
Amid tears of joy, one of the beneficiaries, Mrs. Abosede Jaiyesimi, could not express his gratitude but said, “The item will go a long way in assisting me and my family get back on track because since the death of my husband three years ago it has been very difficult to feed the five children two times a day. But with this item, I can do business and make more money to take crae of the family at least averagely.”