Stories by Stanley Onyekwere
Ahead of the Christmas celebration, the Helpline Foundation for the Needy has doled out assorted food items and clothing materials to over 250 widows and orphans in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), as part of its reach-out programme to the vulnerable in the society.
The Foundation, which is an Abuja based non governmental organisation said the gesture is aimed at putting smiles on the faces of the vulnerable, and the 17th edition of the Foundation’s reach-out programme.
In her opening remarks, the founder of Helpline Foundation, Dr. Jumai Ahmadu, explained that the beneficiaries of the programme are drawn from the six Area Councils of the FCT, irrespective of tribe or religious background.
She disclosed that the Foundation has embarked on training of widows and some vulnerable youths in fish farming and other skills acquisitions that will enable them become employer of labour, while tasking widows to embrace entrepreneurial skills
“We gathered here today to celebrate the 17th edition of our reach-out programme to widows and the vulnerable in the society.
“The Foundation is conscious of the fact that Christmas is around the corner and in the midst of abundance, many especially widows and orphans are denied the basic necessities of life.
“It is on that premise that the Foundation organises reach-out programmes in every festivities as a way of putting smiles on the faces of those who might not have the means to provide for their families.
“However, I am happy to inform you that the Foundation has taken a step further to address the numerous challenges facing widows and the vulnerable.
“To this end, we have selected two women from each group to be trained in fish farming and other skill acquisition programmes. It is our hope that the first set of beneficiaries of the training will be empowered by the Foundation to start their own businesses,” Ahmadu stressed.
She also used the occasion to thank partners of the Foundation especially National Association of Women Journalists (NAWOJ), Abuja council, FCT Department of Information and Communications, and Federal Capital Development Authority, FCDA for their support.
Earlier, Chairman of FCT NAWOJ, Comrade Stella Okoh-Esene, said the women journalists in the nation’s capital have resolved to partner with Helpline Foundation to achieve one of its objectives of empowering women and the vulnerable in the society.
While pledging the support of the Association, she assured beneficiaries that NAWOJ will used its platform to call on government at all levels to support genuine NGOs in the country.
Okoh-Esene, however, called on widows not to look dejected, but remained focus in pursuit of their daily activities saying, “the death of one’s spouse is not the end of life”.
Other stakeholders who spoke in the same vein include the National President of Market Women Association, Mrs. Felicia Sani, former Nation President of NAWOJ, Mrs. Evelyn Oyilo and other top government officials.