For about a year, we have been involved in community development activities with organizations in various communities in the outskirts of Abuja. We were heartbroken to see the plight of the widows in these communities. The suffering and maltreatment they were subjected to was saddening.
Many Nigerian widows are ostracized, face abject poverty, violence against them and their children, and are sometimes denied access to their husbands’ belongings.
The increasing number of widows in Nigeria is attributable not only to natural causes but to the rise in armed conflicts, poverty, HIV/AIDS and other diseases. According to statistics, there are over 8 million disadvantaged widows with about 21 million dependent children in Nigeria. Between 7-16% of these widows constitute the greatest percentage of the poorest of the poor due to their lack of education or skills to sustain themselves and their offspring. Imagine their children growing up without the basic necessities as their widowed mothers cannot afford to feed them. This is a social and security disaster of epic proportions waiting to happen.
We decided to embark on this campaign in a bid to empower impoverished widows with soft skills in trades such as cosmetology, baking/confectionery, shoe and bag making, soft furnishing, fashion design, and jewelry and hat making, tie and dye (adire), knitting/crochet and processing of agricultural products. Following the skills training, each of the women will be given the basic tools necessary to start their businesses. We don’t want to give them fish for a day (by giving them food and money), but to teach them to fish for the rest of their lives. This will not only keep food on their tables but will also enable them to keep their children in school and secure their futures.
We intend to start implementing this project in March, 2018, in the following communities: Pyakasa, Dawaki, Karu/Jikwoyi, Kuchigoro, Karmo and Durumi IDP camp. With the successful implementation in these communities, we hope to replicate the project in other rural communities in Nigeria.
To ensure the success of this project, we will be partnering with Widows’ Associations in Nigeria as well as with Faith Based Organisations, other NGOs and the Chiefs of the respective communities.
With your support, widows in communities across Abuja and their children will have the chance to live better and more productive lives. Not only will you be helping these impoverished families, you’ll be preventing the children from growing to become menaces to society.
ABOUT THE TEAM
We are a team of volunteers from different walks of life in Abuja, Nigeria, committed to developing the communities around us. With Glammer Events and Vocational Training School, we have trained scores of underprivileged women in various skills. However, to continue do this, we need to raise funds to buy the necessary training materials as well as the empowerment tools for the women once training is completed.