Wife of Lagos State Governor, Mrs. Bolanle Ambode, thursday through her pet project, Hope for Women in Nigeria Initiative (HOFOWEM), put smiles on the faces of a total of 103 widows with skills acquisition in fashion designing, catering, tailoring, bead making, hair- dressing, soap making, among others.
Items like deep freezers, refrigerators, generators, sowing machines, industrial gas, cookers, professional cameras, photocopiers, grinding machines, among others were given to the widows who were categorised into three.
The categories include, those that require skills acquisition (relatively young widows); those that require equipment support to stablise their businesses and those that require financial assistance to expand their businesses.
Mrs. Ambode, observed that though the widows needed support, but the same type of assistance could not work for everyone because of age differences and circumstances around them.
According to her, the foundation decided that it would be best to train younger widows for them to have particular skills that they could rely upon to generate regular income by themselves.
â€œAs a result, the relatively young widows will be trained in skills of their choice and would be supported with equipment upon graduation, while equipment support and financial assistance will be given to the other two categories of women,â€ she said.
She also promised payment of monthly allowances to those that would be going for the skills acquisition.
â€œIt is also the objective of this programme to properly educate and enlighten these women on their matrimonial rights under the law. We cannot pretend to be ignorant of the cultural and social problems that women face upon the death of their husbands, including accessing whatever was left behind by their beloved ones.
â€œTo properly enlighten and advise them on the legal steps to take for redress is the reason we included the rights education segment in this programme,â€ Ambode added.
She lamented the challenge faced by widows in the country, saying the overall objective was to ensure that these women were able to live happily, depending more on themselves upon the death of their husbands, adding that the foundation was doing this to further compliment the robust programmes the Governor Akinwunmi Ambode administration for women and children in the areas of economic empowerment, rights protection, health and education, among others.
Delivering her lecture with the title: â€˜Training and Skill Acquisition,â€™ Mrs. Susan Akiolu Edotimi, charged the widows that they could do better things with their lives by learning a skill, saying, â€œMost of you can get alternative, instead of seeking for help or begging for assistance.â€
On her part, Mrs. Emota Akinsete from the Bank of Industry (BoI), who spoke on financial management, disclosed that the widow was free to access the financial assistance from the bank through the platform called, â€œMarket Money,â€ which is interest free, with the N50,000 loan expected to be paid back in six months.