From Sola Ojo, Kaduna
As a part of its deliberate plans to contribute to humanity, Foundation for the Widows and the Old (FWO) at the weekend showered gift items including foodstuff, clothing and beverages to selected 90 widows and aged persons in Kaduna.
Set up earlier in the year to address the multiple issues facing the widows and the old, FWO is a platform of succour for this category of Nigerians across the country as they battle the hard odds of life to make a living.
At the federal government level, President Muhammadu Buhari had earlier in the year approved the take-off of the National Senior Citizens Centre in line with Section 16 (2) (d) of the Nigerian 1999 Constitution as amended which mandates the State to provide adequate social services and improve the quality of life of the elderly.
The Founder, FWO, Miss Aderonke Adewumi, expressed concerns that this category of people around the world moves through harrowing experiences of grief, loss, abandonment and deprivation quickly adding that they also suffer multiple layers of denial including access to bank accounts and family inheritance.
Fielding questions from the newsmen at the sideline of the inaugural launch of the Foundation at a hotel in Kaduna, Aderonke described her foundation as a humanitarian response to the painful realities in terms of insecurity and poverty that are bedevilling the country.
“We chose to launch the foundation here in Kaduna because I was born, schooled and do other great things here and so, I felt to start with a community that has given me that much and because it is a divine project, I got the buy-in of my parents and other great individuals.
“The selection of the beneficiaries was done through their community and religious leaders because they live with them and know them better. I went to community leaders, and clerics and told them what we are looking for and they helped us with those that are here today.
“For a start, we selected 90 beneficiaries for this launch. We are giving them foodstuff, clothing and beverages. I am happy that this little effort has put smiles on the faces of these Nigerians.
“Since we are just inaugurating the Foundation, we are hoping that other stakeholders will join us in this project. God is the master planner that asked me to take steps to assist the widows and aged and I trust His ability to supply what they need through this Foundation.
“I am also happy that a lot of people came around to offer their support. This has come to stay. It is a continuous thing and we hope to take this to other parts of the country to complement the government”, she added.
One of the beneficiaries who lost her husband five years ago, Mrs Christiana Adedimeji described the kind gesture of the foundation as timely considering what she and other widows are passing through as single raisers of their children.
“I’m the happiest woman for the opportunity to partake in this giving. We pray to God to bless her the more to reach out to more widows because many widows cannot feed their children or send them to school.
“I lost my husband five years ago and I know what it means to be alone raiser of children, especially with the current harsh economy. We pray that our government rise to secure the country and improve its economy”, she said.