A Non-Governmental Organization is calling for a more practical approach to reducing extreme poverty amongst women as the Nigerian joins the rest of the world to celebrate this year’s International Women’s Day.
The NGO, Helpline Foundation for the Needy in collaboration with Make a Difference for The Needy Foundation and the Association of Wives of Traditional Rulers in FCT, said it is time to move beyond the yearly talk shows, to the empowerment of rural women especially, at a time when countries are battling to recover from the economic difficulties occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Speaking at the end of a skill acquisition training organized for rural women, the founder of Helpline Foundation for the Needy, Dr Jumai Ahmadu, said the foundation chose to empower women with skills, in line with this year’s theme which is choose to challenge.
“We just want to bring them together, to give them some skills, so that they can challenge themselves, and by the time we meet next time, we will be able to identify the specific things they have done as a result of us bringing them here.
“We also want to move beyond the yearly conferencing, to real empowerment. We have realized that talking is enough, but what women can practically do that makes them better, is what we should focus more on. That is why Helpline Foundation and its partners this year decided to go to the 17 chiefdoms in the FCT and some parts of Niger and Nasarawa states to see how we can empower them with skills; ranging from Izal making, liquid soap making, shoes and bag making and even beni seed cake making. These have been identified as great sources of revenue generation for these women in rural communities.”
Ahmadu who noted that to start most of the businesses introduced to the women are less capital intensive added that they are skills that could be put to use and help them support their families.
Speaking in the same vein, the Founder of Make A Difference for the Needy Foundation, Mrs Maria Ogbonnaya-Ngwu, maintained that the essence of the programme was borne out of the belief that every woman has the potential to transform her life regardless of her circumstances.
Ogbonnaya-Ngwu observed that the era whereby the man is seen as the sole provider for his family has gone, noting that the financial burden on men could eventually lead to an untimely death if help is not coming from their partners.
The wife of the Garki Chief, Hannatu Usman- Nga, who spoke on behalf of the wives of traditional rulers in FCT, thanked the Helpline Foundation for the Needy, for coming down to the grassroots to empower rural women.
According to her, “I’m so happy that our passion is to see how our women especially widows can be self-reliant. The women are encouraged by what Helpline Foundation has done”.

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