60 Abuja Widows Benefits From NGO’s Empowerment Programme


By Ismaila Jimoh, Abuja

No fewer than sixty widows in the Federal Capital Territory has benefitted from training on self sustaining skills organised by the Rasaq Okulaja Initiative in partnership with Helpline Social Support Initiative.

President of Helpline Social Support Initiative, Dr Jumai Ahmadu, said during the training and exhibition, that the empowerment was part of a two-year memorial of late Rev. Rasaq Okulaja.

The widows were trained on tie and dye, soap, turban and Snacks making among other skills, during a second memorial empowerment and exhibition programme, in Abuja.

Dr. Ahmadu explained that the training was designed to eradicate poverty among widows, as well as keep the memory of late Okulaja alive.

She explained that the empowerment was also to give the widows and young girls an opportunity to be a better version of themselves.

She advised the beneficiaries not to be ashamed of what they were doing to support themselves financially.

To get the full benefits of the acquired skills, Ahmadu advised the widows to group themselves into clusters to share facilities, access financial support and organise step down training to other vulnerable groups.

She also encouraged the widows on good packaging and marketing for their products to gain acceptability among the targeted consumers.

“You also need to register your businesses with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC). Helpline will assist intending participants who have adequately packaged themselves with the registration.

“Try to be a better version of yourself and improve yourself at all times and form clusters among yourself so that you can work as a team and easily connect with customers.

“I promised that next year, we will expand this exhibition and take it to the Old Parade Ground, Garki to accommodate more participants, ” she added.

Extolling her late husband, Mrs Toyin Okulaja, described the late reverend as a man that loves impacting on the lives of people.

“After he died, we decided to establish an empowerment initiative after his name to keep his legacy alive, and continue to impact and transform the lives of the poor and vulnerable in our communities.

“We empowered 50 women and young girls in 2023 with different skills and today they are exhibiting their products.

“This year, we decided to support only widows with self-sustaining skills, food items and a little cash to support their lives because they are going through a lot,” she said.

One of the beneficiaries of the first edition of the empowerment, Judith Ogbosi, a single mother of three, said that the support helped to expand her salon business and currently employed five staff.

Another beneficiary, Victoria Itodo, a 300 level student of Federal University of Technology, Mina, said she learned to make snacks.

Itodo, an orphan, said her snacks business was currently sustaining her in school and appealed for more support to enable her to expand.


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