By Aderogba George
A Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), Citizens’ Health Education and Development Initiative (CHEDI) has empowered 60 women with grinding machines in the FCT, as part of efforts to eradicate poverty in the country.
The empowerment of the women, drawn from the six area councils of the FCT was done in collaboration with the World Bank staff community connection campaign (FY2021) in Abuja on Thursday.
The women, who were given ear protectors to reduce the effect of noise from the grinding machines when being used, were also given cash of five thousand each to support their businesses.
Speaking at the donation of the machines to the women, the Executive Director of CHEDI, Mrs Selina-Akunna Enyioha, admonished the women not to sell the machine but use them to better their lives.
She called on the women to count themselves lucky to be part of 60 among millions of Nigerian women who were looking for the same kind of assistance.
“We all know that with the economic situation in the country occasioned by COVID-19 and worsened by insecurity, banditry, kidnapping, rape and other vices, everyone is qualified for empowerment.
“From our Community Need Assessment conducted in some of the area councils, most of the women interviewed requested to be empowered with grinding machines which they can stay at home to operate.
“They said many of them were scared of going to their farms for fear of being kidnapped, raped, or killed. Some of the women, who are breadwinners to their families, can no longer afford to feed their children.
“The women can no longer send their children to school, or pay hospital bills, hence they needed an alternative means of livelihood,” Enyioha said.
She, however, thanked the World Bank staff for accepting the idea to empower the women with grinding machines, adding that, with empowerment, the women were assured of daily income to themselves and family.
The executive director urged the women to begin to save from the proceeds realised from the machine to help them to be economically sufficient.
She said the organisation would be visiting the beneficiaries on a quarterly basis to know how far they were going with the empowerment acquired and the proceeds generated from the businesses.
She also appealed to other similar organisations to take a cue from CHEDI and do the same for the less privileged in society.
Also speaking, the Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, appreciated CHEDI for the empowerment, noting that, the organisation had been committed to improving the health of people from the rural areas.
Ehanire, who was represented by Mr Ogbonna Michael, an officer from the Health Planning Research and Statistics, noted that the ministry had witnessed so many empowerment programme done by CHEDI.
He said that CHEDI had been able to empower over 100 indigent women from Durumi and Gbagalape communities with a skill acquisition programme.
He added that CHEDI also donated some hospital equipment and installation of solar power to Primary Health Care in some parts of Nasarawa Community and FCT.
The minister said that the grinding machines would impact the lives of the beneficiaries.
Mrs Chidima Ukawna, a beneficiary from Mpape and Mrs Zuriat Aliyu, from Paso Village, Gwagwalada, who spoke with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), appreciated the gift and promised to make judicious use of it.
NAN also reports that a representative from the Social Welfare Department of Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC), Hajia Aisha Yusuf and officials from the six local governments were at the event.