Rose of Sharon Tasks Stakeholders on Plight of Widows

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Mary Ekah

It is no hidden fact that about 245 million widows and over 500 million children suffer in silence worldwide while over 115 million widows live in poverty, struggling to survive. Many of these women and their children are malnourished, exposed to disease, and subjected to extreme forms of deprivation.

In considering these facts, Rose of Sharon Foundation (RoSF) is seeking corporate entities, governmental agencies, partnerships and alliances to provide assistance in various ways so as to alleviate the plight of widows and their children while also calling on all stakeholders, law enforcement agencies, other NGOs and the media, to join forces with RoSF to draw attention to these horrors.

Speaking to journalists during a press briefing to announce RoSF’s activities to mark this year’s International Widows’ Day scheduled to kick off on June 23, the Founder of Rose of RoSF, Mrs. Folorunso Alakija in a speech read by the Foundation’s Public Relations Officer, Mrs. Tope Olusola, noted that persecution and abuse against widows and their children is not a crisis limited to the developing world as large groups of widows can also be found in Europe, including Russia and Central Asia.

She said therefore that there was a need for assistance in the areas of information technology (services or supplies) and educational supplies’ computers, laptops, textbooks, stationery and learning materials as well as healthcare services amongst other things. Alakija appealed to stakeholders to all work together as a team to bring smiles to the faces of the downtrodden in our society, particularly widows and orphans. “We rely on you to positively impact their lives through your professional expertise as we ask you to partner with us in taking this message to Nigerians, the rest of the African continent and the world at large,” she noted.

She revealed that activities to mark this year’s International Widows’ Day, which kicks off on June 23 with a general celebration of the widows and children, will also feature: Enterprise Development and Skills Acquisition from October 10 to 14, 2016 and an elaborate Christmas Party and Exhibition on December 9, 2016.

Each year, RoSF works with States Governments, Federal Government, their agencies, CSOs, NGOs, and private sectors to ensure every widow’s right is upheld in our society, as the theme of this year implies: Widows’ Economic Empowerment and Political Participation: A call to Action. International Widows’ Day falls within RoSF Advocacy Programme (RAP); this year, RoSF is bringing together notable voices in a panel of discussants to advocate for more economic empowerment and political participation for widows who wish to run for political office.