No fewer than 200 widows were recently empowered by a non-governmental organization, ROWAA foundation in Itire area of Lagos State.
According to the organization, widows and their children form an unfortunate huge chunk of the most disadvantaged and discriminated groups and they continue to face increased challenges as a result of epidemics, war, economic collapse and stagnation, hence, the urgent need to empower them from time to time in the best of capacity.
The Chairperson ROWAA Foundation Board of Trustees, Mrs Titilope Adewusi said the organization decided to come to the aide of the group because for many widows in Nigeria, it is time of grief, pain and abandonment.
According to her, ROWAA Initative is stepping in to provide succor for these widows and their children by championing the advancement of widows and children’s rights, and also creates a positive outcome for them and their families through social and economic empowerment.
She said, “ROWAA is an organization that supports and champions the advancement of widows and children’s rights and creates a positive outcome for them and their families through social and economic empowerment.” She also said all its programs are specifically designed for widows, addressing specific needs of widows and their children. A component of the NGO she said, was to conduct psycho-social support, life skills, and para-legal and income-generating programs including vocational and entrepreneurial programs for widows in under-served communities across Nigeria.
Also speaking, Mr Ayodele Agbede, a member of ROWAA Initiative Board, pointed out areas in which ROWAA comes in to help widows and their families. “Also as part of our sustainable development goals, ROWAA will work with partners to provide food to very poor widows and their children, implement health programs specially targeted at widows and their children,” he said.
He further explained that the organisation has also created scholarship schemes for children of widows to benefit from and further their education in good institutions as well as bursaries which will help sustain them in school. Mrs Yeside Ogunremi, ROWAA board member also noted that the organisation has series of program strategies targeted at making life more meaningful and productive to the less privileged widows and their children.
One of them, she said, is the Economic Empowerment (Widows Impact Program- WIP).
“Through our WIP we will support widows with vocational and life skills that will help them live to their full potential. After a period of 6 months widows who have participated in our WIP can start their own business,” Ogunremi noted. Another component of the strategies, she said, is Rowaa Impact Scholarship for Children – RISC), which provide scholarship opportunities for children of widows. “We will work with women association, community leaders and school authorities to identify children of widows who are exceptional in their academics but needs financial or in-kind support of educational materials. We will provide support for the education of over 200 widows’ children every year for the next 5 years.”
ROWAA Initiative, she explained also has the Rowaa Impact Outreach – RIO, which basically provides raw food and health education and counseling to widow and their children.