A Non Government Organisation (NGO) based in Abuja, Helpline Foundation for the Needy, has doled out assorted food items to over 100 widows to assist them feed their families as part if activities to mark the Easter celebration.
The food items include rice, bean, yam and groundnut oil and other food items.
Speaking during the presentation of the items, the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Foundation, Dr. Jummai Ahmadu, said that it was aimed at reaching out to help vulnerable widows facing extreme poverty in the society.
The President, who revealed that beneficiaries were drawn from the six area councils of the FCT, irrespective of tribe and religious background, said: “Today’s event is part of our social corporate responsibility to reach-out to the needy in the society and to commemorate this year’s Easter celebration.
“We have over 1,500 registered widows, and any widow interested can come to our office at Efab Mall, Abuja for free registration. From our experience in dealing with these women; we discovered that what they need is support in the area of capacity building and available start off packages for them to contribute to the local economy and be self reliant.”
According to her, “Government should put structures in place to assist them with finance and equipment that will make such vulnerable women to be economically productive.”
Dr Ahmadu further disclosed that the Foundation has concluded plans to roll-out free interest revolving loan scheme for widows in the FCT.
The president, who stated that Helpline has identified 12 clusters in the six area councils where the loans will be disbursed to widows, disclosed that the Foundation is targeting no fewer than 5000 widows to benefit from the revolving loan scheme in the next three years.
She also disclosed that the Foundation had also embarked on training of widows and some vulnerable youths in fish-farming and other skills acquisitions that would enable them become employers of Labour.
She appreciated the support of other stakeholders especially National Association of Women Journalists (NAWOJ), FCT Chapter; FCT Department of Information and Communications; and Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA) toward the success of the programme.
Also speaking, the Chairperson, NAWOJ, FCT Chapter, Mrs Stella Okoh-Esene, commended the Foundation for the good work it is doing, stating that it is in recognition of the noble work that the chapter resolved to partner with Helpline Foundation to achieve its objective of empowering women and vulnerable in the society.
While advising women to be innovative in all their endeavours, she assured that NAWOJ would use its platform to call on government at all levels to support genuine NGOs.
On her part, the Director of Information, FCTA, Mrs Stella Ojeme, also commended the Foundation, stating: “I really commend helpline foundation for this annual ritual. As a widows we really need to support them because they need help to raise the children in the way of God.”