Fanfare as Siju Iluyomade’s ‘Arise Women’ Empowers Abuja Villages

Convener, Arise Women, Dr. Iluyomade with Hajia Zainab Bima, representing the wife of Niger State Governor, Hajia Amina Bello supported by other officials of the NGO during the commissioning of Water project for the use of people of Kabusa Village in Abu

Mary Nnah

It was fanfare when residents of Dafara and Kabusa villages in the Abuja suburb welcomed with open arms the Arise Women, a non-faith based nongovernmental organisation championed by delectable, philanthropic lawyer of decades, Dr. (Mrs.) Siju Iluyomade, wife of Pastor Idowu Iluyomade, the Presiding Pastor of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, RCCG, City of David, Lagos.

Iluyomade’s drive to help the needy since 2008 when Arise Women took effect has indeed blossomed. The need to help, particularly womenfolk, has increasingly endeared her to many beyond the shores of Africa.

So, when Arise Women initially adopted Dafara formally, it was just a stepping stone for more benevolence that came the way of the deprived residents. The NGO is devoid of tribe, religion or ethnicity and this obviously has reflected in its humanitarian and empowerment activities in the past 11years.

In 2018, the NGO built a community hospital, computerised library, boreholes and it provided de-worming vaccines and distributed thousands of back-to-school items to the children; rice, buckets and other items were also given out.

Then, Mrs. Iluyomade had promised the people more and constant aids, noting, “Arise has adopted Dafara in its scheme, we now have projects running here for the benefits of all of you. We will be monitoring and we will be back in 2019”.

And indeed as promised, she returned on Friday November 29 and Saturday 30, 2019 and her milk of kindness was spread to the young and old in both villages. Over 100 members of Arise Women landed in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, to join other members in a bid to effectively carry out the various empowerment activities lined up for the people of the villages.

The team’s first port of call was the L.E.A Primary School, Dafara, where residents were engaged in different kind of vocational skills a day before the formal commencement of activities. These vocational trainings carried out by professionals include fashion and sewing, leather works, catering, soap making, hairdressing and barbing, food processing and value added farming, meant to make the villagers self-reliant.

Chief Joseph Magani, the Head of Dafara village, who was full of praises for Dr Iluyomade and her team, joined in commissioning of a well-equipped Arise Skills Acquisition and Empowerment Academy, a specially constructed hub for different entrepreneurial skills.

Before moving to Kabusa the following day for the continuation of the empowerment programme, the Arise Women team organised a dinner at the Transcorp Hilton in Abuja to officially unveil the Arise Women Farmers Foundation, established to encourage women farming.

The night witnessed the attendance of First Lady of Federal Republic of Nigeria, Mrs Aisha Buhari, ably represented by wife of former Governor of Zamfara State, Hajia Asmau Yari; Minister of Women Affairs, Mrs Pauline Tallen; Wife of Niger State Governor, Dr Amina Bello, represented by Hajia Zainab Bima; Hajia Bola Shagaya, among many other dignitaries.

Tallen, who expressed joy over the compassion displayed by Arise Women team in giving support to rural women in particular through the farming initiative said: “No woman should go to bed hungry, when you empower a woman, you have empowered the whole family”.

The convener, while appreciating the wife of the president and other dignitaries for honouring her invitation, said: “My passion is for every woman no matter their status or position to come out of their shells and bloom because every woman possesses special qualities that need to be identified and tapped into.”