- Recognise benefactors
A group, Women for Christ Kingdom Network, (WCKN), during this year’s Mother’s Day celebration, decided to splash smiles on the faces of widows with various gift items. The group in conjunction with Building Bridge Foundation (BBF) said the aim of the celebration was to appreciate widows, cheer them up and make them happy.
The convener of the event and founder, Women for Christ Network, Apostle Blessing Norbert in an interview with Daily Sun, said she was moved to establish the ministry because as a widow, she understands what women past through when they lose their husbands. According to her, she lost her husband 11 years ago and the bitter experiences gave her the passion to support widows and orphans.
She said the event was aimed at celebrating mothers, as well as to recognize some of their benefactors. “We use this opportunity to confer awards on reputable personalities, to entertain widows and give them gifts in order to create a sense of belonging among them. We try as much as we can to encourage widows, to put a smile on their faces and let them know that they can become who God wants them to be irrespective of whatever that has happened in their lives.’’
While fielding questions on whether the event will be done the next year, Norbert said that the event would be an annual event. “As Building Bridge Foundation is sponsoring the event today, by God’s grace, another None Governmental Organization (NGO) may come up tomorrow and decides to collaborate with us. We are open to business so far as it will put smiles on the widows, orphans and the less privileged in the society, we shall continue,”she said. Fabrics, bags of rice, cartons of soap and detergent, processed foods and other items were among the distributed items to the widows.
Building Bridge Foundation that hosted the event said that the aim is to help the widows rediscover themselves, to know that the girl child could be trained to be useful to the society. BBF believes that parents, even if widows, should not only prepare their female children just for marriage. They could be anything good for the society.
Speaking at the event Mrs Maimuna Chionuma, President of the Foundation, appealed to government at all levels to accord priority attention to empowerment of women and children for sustained advancement of the country. According to Chionuma, women and children hold the key to the economic advancement of nations but expressed concern that in some parts of Nigeria, the girl-child is being prepared for marriage and not innovations.
“My advice to the government is that they should try and build the capacity of women and encourage them to become people to reckon with in the society. If you do not build the capacity of women, the society is down. Build women and children and the nation will have a great future,’’she said.
Chionuma noted that women were most hit in times of conflicts and crises as a result of that, they suffer different kinds of injustice. “As a lawyer I have handled several cases of in-laws dispossessing widows of all belongings after the demise of their husbands. This is not decent and should not be encouraged at this age of civilization,”she said.
She said her Foundation had fought for the welfare of widows for over five years and so found collaboration with “Women for Christ Network’’, Ministry to give hope to suppressed and oppressed women a veritable opportunity to make the widows happy.
Chionuma who was given award of Excellence said she dedicates her award to Holy Trinity and also to the down trodden women in the society. On the number of widows penciled for the gifts, she said, “We made provision for 150 widows but as you can see, the number has reached 200 and still counting. We just said we want to celebrate Mothers’ Day with widows and the event turned out to be ‘each one tell one’ announcement. We are happy that we a privileged to splash smiles on the faces of the widows”.
Also speaking at the event, Evangelist Chioma Adeoye of “Gilead’s House of Answered Prayers’’ lamented the sharp practices being meted to widows in Nigeria. In her opinion, young windows should remarry. She stated that the greater number of people that call themselves widows in Nigeria today are not widows because according to her, Bible recognises people from 60 years of age to be widows, if you are not up to that age, then you should go and remarry.
She commended the organisers of the event and appealed to all tiers of government to evolve programmes to empower widows. “Government should support widows in areas of housing and empowerment,’’ she said.
The highlight of the event was the conferment of awards to some women, couples and pastors who distinguished themselves in their various fields of endeavours. Some of the awardees included but not limited to, Aposttle Chukwudi Enoch, Chionuma among others.
Some of the widows who spoke to Daily Sun commended the organisers of the event for remembering the widows to celebrate motherhood with them. According to one of the widows, Mrs. Chinwendu Mercy Nwosu, “I am very happy that the organisers want to make widows happy. But I am not happy that I became a widow at the age of 48 years.q