As part of activities to mark the Christmas and New Year celebrations, a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), Helpline Foundation, for the Needy, Abuja, has feted and empowered over 400 widows and vulnerable women in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) during its end of year outreach to widows and the vulnerable.
Speaking during the event, the President and Founder of Helpline Foundation, Dr. Jumai Ahmadu, revealed that the outreach was the 18th edition and that the Foundation has redesigned its programmes to focus more on skills acquisition and empowerment rather than alms-giving.
She tasked government at all levels and relevant organisations to go beyond funfairs that characterize every festivities and use such occasions to empower the vulnerable in society.
“It has been our philosophy that “nobody is too poor to give and nothing is too small to give”. However, we at Helpline Foundation have decided to focus more on skills acquisition programmes and empowerment of the vulnerable.
“We should teach them how to catch fish rather than giving them fish. In other words, we should move beyond funfair to empowerment of the vulnerable in the society. And I think it is the right way to go.
“It has been our tradition for over 18 years to seize every opportunity and occasion to put smiles on the faces of the less privileged especially women. Today, we are training women on the art of making hats in different forms in view of the season and the beneficiaries of today’s training are happy,” she said.
In her remarks, the guest of honour and wife of FCT Permanent Secretary, Mrs. Pamela Ohaa, commended the foundation for its poverty reduction initiatives, stressing that more of such spirited non-governmental organisations are needed in the country to fight the scourge of poverty.
She tasked the beneficiaries to utilize the training for the benefit of not only their immediate family members but for the larger society, saying “to whom much is given, much expected.”
The women were taught skills acquisition and handed starter-packs and food items.
One of the beneficiaries who spoke to our correspondent, Mrs. Monica Bulus, expressed gratitude for the gesture, assuring that she will put her training to effective use.