ZIK’S WIFE GIVES HOPE TO 44 WIDOWS IN ONITSHA
By Patricia Osegbue :
Onitsha, Nov.19, 2019 (MOI) Wife of the1st President of Nigeria, Late Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe and President/CEO Widows Lifeline, Prof. Uche Azikiwe has lifted the hope of 44 widows in Onitsha through her Widows Lifeline Project.
The event took place at the Mother Benedette Anyaogu Memorial Technical and Vocational Institute premises on Ibekwe Street by Awka Road Onitsha.
Prof. Azikiwe in collaboration with the Institute concluded a six months training for 44 widows on skills acquisition and self sustainable programme.
The beneficiaries, who were indigenes and non indigenes of Onitsha successfully, completed the training on Bread and Confectionery, Soap making, Bead making, Gele and Hat making.
According to Prof. Azikiwe, Widows Lifeline (WILL) is a non-profit, non Governmental Organisation (NGO), which started on Dec. 22, 2001 with widows, the girl child, orphans as their target.
The aim was to enable them to meaningfully and effectively participate in the sustenance of their lives.
The NGO also desired to become a strong platform, addressing the plight of their target group.
The director explained that her burning desire to help mankind through charity work started after attending Women Conference organised by the Diocese on the Niger, Anglican Communion Awka in 2001.
``We are urged to grant encouragement to each other and keep on strengthening one another.
``Empowering other people is a way of testifying to God’s abundant blessings in my life, which I will continue to do always.’’
She noted that the programme started in Nsukka in 2001, granting free interest loan to women and providing healthcare programmes like cancer and HIV free screening.
The group also organises health talks and vocational get together party for widows in order to lift their spirits.
According to her, Onitsha chapter started in 2015 and the present group is the 5th set she has empowered.
Prof. Azikiwe while handing over a start up capital and certificate to the beneficiaries advised them to make good use of the empowerment opportunity in order that her aim would be actualised.
``The training will enable you to be economically independent. The profit you will make from the business will help you to solve your basic needs.’’
She urged mothers to educate their girl child, saying that when you educate a woman you educate a nation.
She emphasised that investing on a girl child was a wise investment with reference to herself.
According to her, it is education and her career as a lecturer at University of Nigeria Nsukka (UNN) that enabled her to survive after the death of her husband.
The coordinator of the school Rev. Sr. Mary Benedict S Obasi commended the effort of Widows lifeline director in partnering with the school to ameliorate the plight of women.
Sr. Obasi described Prof. Azikiwe as a humble, practicing Christian, who believed that religious denomination was of no consequence in charity, hence her organising the program in a Catholic Institute.
The Sr. coordinator, then, called on other good spirited individuals to emulate Prof. Azikiwe in alleviating problems of the poor.
Onitsha Chapter Coordinator, Lily Franca Osaka enjoined the women to start up the business immediately to fend for themselves and families, venturing into things that are worthwhile and morally justifiable.
She praised Zik’s wife for assisting the women in her capacity.
One of the beneficiaries Nkemdilim Aniezue, a civil servant from Enugwu Agidi said that she needed the skills in addition to her salary to enable her to train her children without depending on people.
She praised Prof. Azikiwe for dedicating herself to caring for the widows and ensuring their well-being, promising to start off immediately.
Another beneficiary Mrs Victoria Azikiwe, a widow for 22 years expressed joy in the help rendered to her by her co-wife.
She affirmed that she had made some sales from her handiwork during her period in training.
One of the teachers, Mrs Gloria Neto, who taught the women bead making, confirmed the ability of the women in creating good designs with beads and their interest in the hand craft.
She appraised them never to relent in bead making.
Another beneficiary, Mrs Henrietta Aneke, on behalf of all the participants thanked God for Prof. Azikiwe, who always announced the goodness of God in her lifestyle and actions.
Aneke also praised the coordinator of the Institute for her efforts in actualising the dreams of the initiator of the programme.
She urged her colleagues to appreciate the widow’s lifeline by practicing all that they had learnt from the training.
Exhibition of all their handiwork that Prof.
Azikiwe and group inspected and confirmed satisfactory was part of the event.