Some Non-Governmental Organisations (NGO) on Saturday empowered 200 widows and other women with various vocational skills at Abesan in Ipaja area of Lagos.
The widows and women empowerment programme was initiated by Princess Adejoke Phillips, Founder, Jokceebee Relief Hands Foundation and done in partnership with four NGOs.
They are: Hope Builders Skill Development and Acquisition Foundation, Diligent Hands International, Glowing Splints Development Initiative and Make Me Elegant Foundation.
Some of the activities during the one-day entrepreneurship programme included health talk, free medical checkup and skills acquisition training, Christmas party and distribution of clothing materials
Jokceebee Foundation also gave some women equipment of trade such as grinding machine, blender, makeup box and toaster.
Ikeoluwa Afolabi, Chief Executive Officer, Jokceebe said the programme was part of the foundation’s vision in bringing succour to the less-privileged.
“Jokceebee has done a lot of projects to help the less-privileged in different parts of the state and today we are focusing on widows and women in this community.
“We understand the importance of partnerships, so we decided to partner with other relief and empowerment foundations to make this programme a success,” he said.
Speaking at the event, Mrs Folayemisi Adu, Executive Director, Hope Builders Foundation, said the programme was aimed at uplifting the widows and women in the community.
“Five NGOs focused on empowering women, youths and the less-privileged decided to come together to make widows and women in this community happy this Christmas.
“So we decided to make it a three-in-one programme by feeding them, providing free medical check-up, drugs and also training them in various vocations.
“They have learnt how to make liquid soap, decorations, cakes, pastries and Chapman.
“With these skills, they can start their own business and make small money to feed their families and educate their children,” Adu said.
She added that a monitoring and evaluation team has been put in place to monitor the progress of the beneficiaries and ensure they put the skills to good use.
“We have collected the data of everyone that benefited from this programme today.
“We have our monitoring and evaluation team that will track the progress and ensure the skills and equipment are used for the right purpose,” she said.
She also thanked the medical team led by Dr. Samuel Alori, from General Hospital Lagos Island and Tyonex Pharmaceutical Ltd, for supporting the medical outreach by supplying all the drugs given to the women.
Mr Rasheed Adegbenro, Technical Director, Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, lauded the initiative which came at a time when many families were facing hardship.
He advised the beneficiaries to utilise the skills learnt to ensure financial stability.
“Empowerment is not just about money, skill acquisition is a greater part of it.
“This training has helped women to realise their inner strength that can be converted to money and used to uplift their lives and families.
“I urge everyone and those who were given materials and tools to utilise the knowledge and skills,” he said.
Also, Mrs Stella Francis, Executive Director, Glowing Splints Initiative, advised women to always have multiple streams of income to achieve financial independence.
“Even before you become widows, don’t rely on anyone for money. Ensure you have multiple streams of income so that when the chips are down, you can have something to fall back on.
“The economy right now is bad and being a salary earner alone is not enough. It is always advisable to have a skill because when you have a skill you can always generate income and you can never lack anything,” she said.
Mrs Olajumoke Falade, one of the beneficiaries, who was gifted a blender, expressed gratitude to the sponsors for gift and for equipping them with skills that would uplift them financially.