Glow Initiative for Economic Empowerment, a non-governmental organization, has sensitized and provided support for rural women in select communities in Enugu state. The NGO through its project tagged “Rural Women Corona Virus Awareness Initiative (RWCVAI)” supported by Access Bank PLC led a team of volunteers to reach out to hundreds of rural women in several locations in Enugu state from the 15th to the 29th of June, 2020. The locations included Ndi-Eke Agu in Amechi Community, Eke-Otu Market, and Ikirike Village, all in Enugu South local government of the state.
The sensitisation programme, which included market outreaches and door-to-door awareness campaigns sensitised more than 800 women on basics of COVID-19 spread and prevention, proper hand washing techniques, cough control mechanisms in crowded places, use of hand sanitizers, and proper use of face masks.
As part of efforts to cushion the hunger effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on rural women, relief packs that contained food items and face masks were distributed to over 100 rural women in the course of the project.
The Founder and Executive Director of the NGO, Ms. Glory Oguegbu, stated that the goal of the project was to raise awareness on the coronavirus amongst women in rural areas and provide support for these women to take actions to stay safe. She lamented that despite the alarming rates of the spread of coronavirus in the country, a lot of people still think that the pandemic was a hoax. She highlighted the need for intensified efforts in ensuring that people become aware of the reality of the pandemic and encouraged to adopt safe practices to curb its spread.
Oguegbu also pointed out that the pandemic had worsened the hardship and sufferings of underprivileged women, many of whom live in rural communities. Lockdown restrictions and quarantine measures had denied a lot of women access to their means of livelihood. This according to her triggered her desire to provide support for poor and vulnerable women in rural communities.
The project team lead, Mr. Wilfred Okeke, lauded, and expressed delight in being part of the project. According to him, the project afforded him the opportunity to have firsthand knowledge of the reality of poverty and hunger in the country. He narrated an incident that happened at one of the markets they visited for sensitisation and distribution of relief packs. According to him, people almost got stampeded as hundreds of women became uncontrollable as they scrambled to get relief packs. This according to him, brings to bear the enormity of sufferings faced by most Nigerian populace.
Okeke called on government and other developmental partners to intensify efforts in providing palliatives and stimulus packages for women especially those in the rural areas as the COVID-19 pandemic has worsened an already existing poverty crisis in the country.
One of the beneficiaries, Mrs. Joy Nnaji, thanked the organizers of the project for their kind gestures. According to her, asides gifting her a relief pack, the project afforded her the opportunity to become more aware of modes of transmission of the corona-virus and how it can be prevented. She lamented that the COVID-19 pandemic has grossly affected their means livelihood man and she wished that the pandemic ends soon.
Nnaji encouraged women to join the fight against the coronavirus. According to her, the only way to overcome the pandemic is by adhering strictly to safety guidelines as stipulated by health authorities.