The Committee of Friends for Humanity (COFFHA) recently laid the foundation for a Skills Acquisition Centre it intends to build for widows and the less privileged within the Okun-Ajah Community in Ajah, Lagos.
Using the opportunity to hold a medical outreach for the widows in the community, the foundation gathered no fewer than 3,000 men, women and children, who benefitted from the exercise.
Speaking during the free medical exercise and ground breaking ceremony of the Vocational Training Centre, the president of COFFHA, Mrs. Carol Ufere, said it was a way of giving back to the society.
“This year is a little different in the sense that over the years we have always done widows empowerment every year during which we give widows starters packs to start off trade and then we monitor them to see that they are doing well in their various different businesses.
“But we noticed that a lot of women were getting sick without having a means to carter for themselves medically. So, we felt that it was not just enough to give them a source of income but to as well carter for their physical wellbeing. So, today we are having our ground breaking ceremony and a health outreach which is annual for us”, she noted.
Ufere explained further that after realising that some of these women were not utilising the money given to them for their businesses as planned, but expended the money on other pressing matters, the need for a skill acquisition centre arose.
“It has been difficult getting them to stay focus on their trade and so we felt that rather than give them money as such, let us empower them by building capacity in them through skills acquisition so that they can have training in specific trade.
“We felt that it is not usually okay to give people just fish but to teach them how to fish so that they can be sustainable. This would enable them have a source of income that is continuously running, so that even when you are tired, others can continue where you stopped so that you can continue to have something to eat.”
So, first of all, Ufere said the group had to buy a land with the help of its supporters, donors and benefactors, adding, “you know we cannot do it all alone. Fortunately we have people who share in our vison. So after we bought this land, we held our first health outreach in October 2018 and then the recent one in November 2019, during which we laid the foundation for the skill acquisition centre which we intend to build for the community.
“Incidentally, we are sourcing for funds to start building the structure and all we are waiting for is to get funding to be able to start the building. It has been tough, I must say. Getting the money is big challenge. But we believe and trust in God that He would make it possible.
“So, today we have invited friends who have believed in us and have graciously put their money in what we do. They did it out of faith without knowing if we would use their money for other things than said but today we have brought them here and they have seen where we have put their money, they can actually see that we are working and that they are dealing with women with integrity and we have come to show to them our labour of several years.
“Our guests have come and they have seen what we are doing, now they have the confidence that the money they have been giving us over the years, no matter how small, are now being utilised and they are very happy knowing that we are women with integrity and proven track records, who have said we are for charity and we are really doing charity”, Ufere said.