By: Bayo Olusegun and Josephine Adetula
The National Association of Women journalist, NAWOJ, in Ondo State today shares funds to widows in commemoration of the International Widow’s Day as part of the activities marking its 2021 week.
Widow’s Day is an awareness day of the United Nation that is observed throughout the world to discuss and limit the hardships that widows face when their husbands die. About 1 percent of men in Nigeria are widowers and 9 percent of Nigerian women are widows.
Ondo NAWOJ led by Mrs. Doris Olumoko breaks the stigma that people don’t give importance to widows as they continue in their humanitarian service to give out funds, inspire and consoles the heartbroken women and encouraged them to become productive in society.
They mark this day with the widows who were in large numbers and gave out funds, foodstuffs to over 100 beneficiaries in the event which held at Adegbemile Press Centre.
The guest speaker of the occasion who is also the immediate past NAWOJ National Auditor; Mrs. Sola Jacob who disclosed that she is a widow of eighteen years inspired, and challenged the widows to stop living their life in regrets, but that they should wake up from slumber, accept and face the reality which is to learn to be independent and invest in their future (Their children).
“Widowhood is a phase, and you all must learn to accept that as it is. Whatever takes your husband has only taken your today not your future, your future is the children he left behind, you have to invest and build them to have a better tomorrow.”
She commended the effort of ladies in marriage and that regardless of the current situation, they need to carry their burden alone and not depend on anyone for survival.
“There are living widows, some peoples husband are alive yet they are still a widow. You must learn to handle serious situations because the desperate situation requires desperate actions. Don’t depend on family and friends’ promises, they only gave the promises so that you won’t die too and leave the children.”
The Chairperson of NAWOJ Ondo State, Mrs. Doris Olumoko in her statement disclosed that Widowhood is not a death sentence, and all these go to a solid foundation which she regards as education.
“We gather here today to support women who are widows to let them know there are still hope for them. We need our women, parents to educate our girl children to learn skills, and most importantly, they need to think rationally to know that no man owes them anything so they have to strive and be independent.”
She also revealed that they begin this last year as a means to combat poverty, trauma, and other forms of vices facing the widows in society.
“We started this empowerment program during the Covid-19 lockdown when we realize that most of our women are subjected to poverty and it is very difficult for them to feed themselves so we started sorting out food to distribute for Widows. So far, we have given them food, we have distributed money but we intend to empower them as time goes on so that they can be self-sustained. We also urge the Government, stakeholders in the society, NGO, and well-doing Nigeria to partner with us so that we can secure the future of our society.”
The national financial secretary of Nawoj; Mrs. Adeola Adekunle who spoke on behalf of the President, Mrs Ladi Bala, said that widows should not retire themselves to death or in any way become vulnerable because of their current circumstance and that is why they have set up a platform to make the little provision in their capacity to give and empower widows by celebrating this day with them.
“We set ourselves to identify with widows to commemorate this day and that is why NAWOJ is giving what they have in their capacity for the widows.
She however revealed that they also need more backing from Government, philanthropists, and NGOs to give more to the people as what they have is not enough to take all the people.
One of the beneficiaries; Mrs. Afe Babalola in an interview express gratitude to the association and prays for more development and upliftment for the Chairperson and the association as a whole.
” I want to appreciate the Association because they have tried for us, this is not the first time they are doing this. They did during the Covid-19 pandemic period. There was a time when I used to pay my son’s school fees. This is a good idea and I want to appreciate the chairperson for the kind heart she has for the Widows, and I pray that during her tenure the association will continue to grow more and she we explore in greatness.”
Another Beneficiary; Mrs. Bola Idowu expressed her joy that she’s delighted to be part of the development as she commends the humanitarian efforts of the association and prays that God takes them to a greater Height.
The gesture was done with the support of some kind-hearted Nigerians.