By Tosin Clegg
About 170 widows got their New Year off on a sound footing at the yearly Widows New Year Feast organized by the International Women Society (IWS). The 2020 calendar programme reaching out to selected widows by IWS in a cause to empower many others with selected items essentially to help and support them to run a business and support their families. The items include pepper grinding machine, refrigerators with drinks, gas burners, generator sets and sewing machines among others.
The society was hosted by His Royal Highness, Oba Saheed Elegushi and his wife, Olori Sekinat Elegushi at their Palace in Ikate-Elegushi area of Lagos. All dressed in uniform Ankara, the widows came from different parts of Lagos and were empowered with different items to support their skills and help in their quest to earn a leaving. Speaking at the event, IWS President, Nkoli Ogbolu noted that, ‘We are here today to support the widows. There is no end to helping people who are disenfranchised and less privileged so let organisations try to identify these people through selection processes.
‘It is easy to know who is lying, you can go and do spot checks. If you identify these people you can go and help them, all it requires is a process by which you monitor and evaluate what you give to widows and the process is truly easy. However I noticed that most of us are very lazy after endowing them, we don’t train them with financial literacy, we don’t check on them. We all know that small and middle scale businesses are the bedrock of any economy.’
Olori Sekinat Aramide Elegushi who was the Special Guest at the event stated that, ‘ I support the women because I am a woman myself, as you see all these widows they need help, they need support, their children are also less privileged so we need to support them. That is why I am passionate to help and support them and I would love to do more in the future. So I advise others to come out more, to empower widows, help their children, help women and then in doing all that we are helping the Government too.’
According to Mrs. Olabisi Alokolaro, the items were made possible by generous donations and support by all members of the IWS as well as different individuals and corporate organizations. Some of them include First Bank Plc, First Bank Quest, The Chair Centre, QSE Foundation Danish Women Society, Hungarian Women Society and Lebanese Women Society to mention but few.
Among the dignitaries at the event were the host, Olori Sekinat Elegushi, Mrs Fatima Obanikoro, wife of Eti-Osa Local Government Chairman who stood for Senator Oluremi Tinubu and Mrs Chinyere Anokwuru, a former Special Adviser to Lagos Governor and Founder, Selfworth Organization for Women Development.