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April 20, 2024
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Some widows with their packages during the event

Group kicks off empowerment initiative for women

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By Chimezie Anaso

A non-denominational Christian group, Ruth Sisters’ Fellowship International (RSFI), Nigeria, has called for the empowerment of the Nigerian woman to enable her survive challenges, including widowhood.

Prof. Ada Menakaya, the Rector of the fellowship, made the call at the 2nd Anniversary and inauguration of the Onitsha chapter in Anambra on Wednesday.

The theme of the convention, which witnessed the cutting of the Sister to Sister Love cake, was “Ruth-Naomi Widow’s Mara Ripple (Ruth 1:19-21)”.

Menakaya, represented by Mrs Caroline Enarere, the National Coordinator of the Fellowship, encouraged widows, particularly the young ones, to empower themselves with education and skills for better productivity and better lives.

She said they should not make themselves vulnerable and burden to the society.

She announced the kick off of the Widows Entrepreneur Startup Initiative with a sum of N20,000 for 20 vulnerable widows for them to start up income-generating businesses for their families.

“Our mission is rooted in the biblical life story and spiritual journey of Ruth and Naomi, the Fellowship is the rebirth of gender character for a generation with a mission..

“We want to let every woman understand that being made empty, draws her back to her roots of Royalty in Jesus Christ, where she will be made whole in the actualization of a character for generations to come,” Menakaya said.

Aged widow with her package during the event
An elderly widow with her package during the event

Menakaya said that the growing trend of economic downturn and gender inequality had impeded women’s capacity and potential to be players in their destinies.

She said widowhood challenges, inability to access and control resources, lack of access to education and information as well as unequal rights and access to decision-making processes were crucial to opportunities available to women.

“For women to be empowered to move from their inequalities and challenges to faith, sacrifice, and strong will, requires supportive resolve to education and empowerment through the help of one another.

“Widowhood concerns are still global issues needing solutions that must be reached for women’s advancement, and progression, a better environment for women, especially the less privileged widows, across the world.

“Widowhood emotions are thwarted, affecting their gender balancing, emotions, and character, and this requires psychological and emotional therapy that could lead to a better world for the vulnerable and helpless widows,” she said.

Also speaking, Iyom Josephine Anenih, a former Minister of Women Affairs, urged widows to be determined to live a positive life after the loss of their husbands.

According to her, “occupy yourselves with productive ventures, do not be vulnerable to the society, you can do it with strong will and prayers.”

Mrs Mary Chude, Leader of the newly-inaugurated Onitsha chapter of the fellowship, assured that she would do her best to move the body forward in the area with prayers and members’ support.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that widows and a widower received food items, including rice, gari and onions at the event.

Some guests at the occasion, including Rev. Dr Jason Chukwukelu of Achievers’ Gospel Church Intl, Onitsha, Pastor P. O. Amaukwu, Mrs Christy Chukwukelu and Rev. Mrs Kings Afimoni, amongst others, offered prayers for the success of the project. (NAN)(www.nannews.ng)

Edited by Vincent Obi

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