Widows in Ebute community, Ilaaje Bariga, Lagos, recently had a cause to smile as they were trained in soap making and production of insecticides and disinfectants by Crystal Care Foundation in its latest empowerment programme. The programme on December 7, 2019, also featured distribution of foodstuff and clothes to the participants.
Founded on July 20, 2019, Crystal Care Foundation is a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) whose core objective is making life better for the less privileged. And for its founder, Chioma Bumah, empowering widows and children is her own little way of giving to society. The foundation debuted with outreach at Makoko for children, while its latest effort was directed at widows in the Ebute community.
Beneficiaries of the empowerment had expressed their heartfelt gratitude. One of them, Mariam Omoboye, lost her husband 20 years ago. She narrated to Saturday Sun how she had not been able to fend for herself and her kids since the demise of her husband, thus entrusting her children to the care of relatives and friends.
“The programme is very timely because they have brought hope to me,” she stated. “Recently, I sent a child to the bank to help me withdraw what my son was able to send to me but that child was robbed so I have just been managing. With the knowledge of what I have been taught, I can start a trade and make some cash for my upkeep.”
Another widow, 60-year-old Komolafe Ogbere, a mother of seven children also recounted the hard knock life she has been living, trying to take care of her children. She appreciated the organizers of the programme for remembering the less privileged, especially widows, and prayed that God would continue helping them.
“I have no job currently, I was selling sand before now, but the Lagos State government has taken over that area from us and I have been feeding poorly,” she said. “But I can put the knowledge I gained from this training into practise and make some money.”
She also thanked the organizers for the foodstuff and clothes given to them.
Olayinka Balogun, 52, who was widowed some 19 years ago, also lauded the programme as a good initiative which helps widows to fend for their children. “I was a fishmonger before I took ill and had amnesia and couldn’t continue with the job,” she explained. “They should please continue the good work because some of us really have no jobs. We are just striving to survive.” She urged the organizers to extend the target of the outreach to include housewives who are not into any form of employment.
Speaking with Saturday Sun, Bumah, Founder, Crystal Care Foundation, described how her encounter with female beggars at Jibowu area of Lagos strengthened her resolve to help the destitute.
The 19-year-old 200 Level student of the University of Lagos said: “The sight of women and children running after people to beg for money pushed me to want to help them because I feel that these people have no support and they have kids depending on them. That’s why we came up with an empowerment programme for them because if all we do is to give them stuffs, it would just end there but how about long-term sustenance?”
The NGO, she affirmed would have loved to broaden its outreach beyond widows and children, but for time and financial restraints.
“We would be coming out twice a year for the selected category because we are still students.
We would not want this to affect our academic pursuit; moreover, it’s not something we just execute, we first have to source for funds,” she stated.