Karis and Eleos Hand of Hope Foundation has empowered about 80 widows in Lagos with seed capital in the form of resources to upscale their businesses.
The widows were part of the 400, who were trained on skills acquisition and life skills. Some of the recipients received start-up packs during the training.
Speaking at the Foundation’s International Widows Day celebration held in Lagos recently, Founder, Karis and Eleos Hand of Hope Foundation, Bukola Bamiduro, said that they had to embark on research to ascertain the specific needs of the women.
She explained that the items were to encourage the women to grow their businesses, adding that the foundation would keep working with the beneficiaries to measure their growth and ensure that their businesses improve.
“The decision to empower the women with resources peculiar to their businesses was made after we visited the women in their business location and were able to deduce what they needed,” she said.
Items like oven, industrial cooker, sewing machine, ingredients for baking, soap making and others were provided to address their specific needs.
Chief Executive Officer, The Panache Centre, Regina Chris-Ogbodo, while speaking on mental well-being, cautioned the widows not to forget they have a destiny and purpose.
She called on widows to focus on fixing their mental health, instead of getting involved in so many activities to evade issues or their current state of mind.
According to her, the first way to deal with pain as a widow is to accept the situation not because people say, but because you know, so you can walk into the next stage.
She noted however that there has been improvement in response to widows from the government and private sector, but added that laws should be established specifically for the protection of widows.
“Everything that has to do with the protection of widows is within the background of the generic women, children, so we want a specific law that will protect the widow verbatim, written so that everyone would know when something is done against a widow and she can then seek redress,” she said
On the importance of mental health, Chris-Ogbodo, explained that mental wellness is having a protected and organised mindset to be able to move.
“If you don’t have the presence of mind, there is nothing you can do, no matter your financial status. A disorganised person can never do anything productive and this can be a hindrance to the development of the nation,” she added.
Legal Practitioner, Oluwayemisi Adesina, emphasised the need for intending couples to have court marriage first so the marriage is not under customary law, which is unfair to women. She also called on husbands to make a will to protect their families.
CEO, Market Doctors, Yetunde Ayo-Oyalowo, said there are three stages in widowhood, known as period of grief, growth and grace. She urged the women to pay attention to their health.
“If you are struggling with your health, you can’t achieve much. Have basic checks like blood pressure and sugar. Check for fibroid. Don’t run around trying to take herbal drugs without consultation. Women should go for consultation,