The Chinwe Bode-Akinwande (CBA) Foundation, a non-governmental organisation, on Saturday 3, August 2019 empowered widows within Okun-Ilado community of Ibeju-Lekki, Lagos State.
The organisation rekindled the hopes of hundreds of under-privileged widows, with business grants, food-items, clothing, scholarships for children and free medical treatments.
According to the organisation, the one-day outreach supported by First Bank of Nigeria, is in commemoration of the 2019 United Nations’ International Widows’ Day.
Speaking at the event, the founder of the foundation, Mrs. Chinwe Bode-Akingbade, said the gesture was imperative to assist the pitiable conditions of widows and less-privileged in the society as well as boost their confidence.
“The foundation was established to alleviate sufferings and pains of the less-privileged, especially widows and their children in the society.
“I decided to do this because I’m led by God and also, I’ve watched closely, listened to some of the victims of widowhood and I realised that less attention is paid to under-privileged widows.
“I have friends who are victims and I can tell you, the dehumanisation and injustice meted to widows in the country is unimaginable, hence, I decided to contribute my little quota as a selfless act to alleviate their pains.
“As I speak, we currently have over 600 authentic widows on our profile, and the children of about 90 per cent of them have dropped out of school because of lack of funds.
“So, even if it’s the basic education we are able to give to them, they can build on it. We don’t want children who should be in schools on the streets because their mothers cannot afford school fees.
“Who knows if the future president is among them? Every child should have access to education and a good life and that is what CBA Foundation intends to achieve,” she added.
She further called on the government to implement and enforce the Violence Against Persons (Prohibition) Act (VAPP) which has the protection of widows in the country, stressing that the government needs to create more awareness about the act for widows to know their rights and also for people to thread with caution.
The traditional ruler (Baale) of the Okun-Ilado community, Chief Ologbon Oladehinde Oloye, speaking with joy, noted that the gesture would go a long way in salvaging the wretched situation of widows in the community as poverty, hunger and malnutrition are a great threat to their livelihood.
“It’s rare to see kindhearted Nigerians these days who want to help others. We are happy with what CBA has come to do for our women and children. Feeding and education is key to every human life and we welcome anyone that desires to help our children get better education.”
Oloye lamented the lack of work and negligence of government in the community.
“Our major occupation here is fishing, but fishing these days is getting harder and harder, hence our people are suffering. Thank God for NGOs like this that come once in a while to lend helping hands through basic materials and scholarships,” he said.
Also speaking at the program, one of beneficiaries, Mrs Yaya Taiwo while expressing her gratitude to the foundation said she was overwhelmed by the gesture of the foundation as it has given her life a meaning.