CBA Foundation reiterates commitment to underprivileged widows

In furtherance of its mission to continually protect the well-being of underprivileged widows in Nigeria, CBA Foundation recently launched a Social Enterprise Initiative which is aimed at ensuring the long-term sustenance of the widows’ welfare as well as their children’s.

The initiative which kicked off on Saturday 4th December 2021, catered to the financial, mental, and physical health needs of 165 widows across 6 communities in Ibeju-Lekki area of Lagos. The communities include: Badore, Iberekodo, Museyo, Magbon Alade, Okunola Ilado, and Magbon Iga.

The Social Enterprise Initiative provides comprehensive support including health interventions, skill acquisitions, business set-up, food and drinks, clothes and shoes, and support for the affected widows.

Commenting on the Social Enterprise Initiative, CEO CBA Foundation, Mrs. Chinwe Bode Akinwande said: “We have been doing outreaches and it has been non-stop delight for us, but the essence of this social enterprise initiative is for them to have something that will sustain them even for a longer period of time. Something that will give them hope, knowing that they have a sustainable source of livelihood and activity that reminds them that they need to keep going.

The CEO continued: “From the database and judging by the individuals and corporate supports we had, we looked at critical issues starting our interventions from those whose needs are critical. We looked at the widows we needed to set up in businesses and do it for them. We also had quite a number of children we have reinstated back in school.

Giving insight into why they decided to go into comprehensive and intensive support, she said: “when the lock down came last year, we realized that there was a need again to have something sustainable for these women. With the Social Enterprise Initiative, we identify the skills they need to possess, and what they are passionate about, we empower them with the necessary training and then set them up with all they need for the business. At the end of the day, they won’t have to wait daily for the CBA Foundation to give them food or clothing.”

Through FirstBank of Nigeria’s partnership with Vision Spring, the Foundation was able to cater for the vision-impaired widows. The beneficiaries were granted free consultations with an ophthalmologist, eye tests and given free reading glasses. It was indeed a sight to behold to see the smiles on the faces as the beneficiaries when their glasses were fitted and they could see clearly.

“I am very happy I can even stare at the sun now without feeling faint,” 59 year old Hassanat Oyewunmi said as she wiped tears from her eyes.

She continued: “Before when I see people coming from afar, they would seem like two, it is only when they get closer that I would realize it’s just one person. But I feel better, much better now with the glasses, and I can even see everyone clearly. It is good to know that we are not forgotten.”

Similarly, 62 year old Olabode Sadiat noted that for her, it was difficult to read her bible.  “Nothing is more painful than not being able to read your Bible,” She said.

She described that her sight gets blurry whenever she tries to stare anything beyond 5 feet from where she stands. Sadiat put on the glasses and pointed happily at the farther end of the field, stating that she could see it all clearly.

The initiative also featured training on Adire Making (Tie and Dye), packaging, and distribution. The women were lectured on the step-by-step processes involved in Adire Making, materials needed and how to identify them, necessary safety precautions, the various tie and dye techniques, and how to make a living from Adire Making.

Chinwe Bode-Akinwande disclosed: “Plans are also underway for the ones that will show a keen interest in Adire Making after the training. We will have a line of product that will be our Adire pattern, it will have our signature, whereby we will sell and a percentage of the profit will be plowed back into the Foundation so that money will continue to come in, and these women will also have something that will continually inspire them to keep on.”

Additionally, food, drinks, and clothing were distributed to the recipients of the initiative even as they were urged to remember that they are not alone and can always count on the support of the CBA Foundation.

Launched in 2005, the CBA Foundation is primarily dedicated to promoting and protecting the lives and well-being of underprivileged widows and their vulnerable children in Nigeria, through health interventions, provision of clothing, nutrition, tuition fees for their children, and launching business startups for long term sustenance.

Culled: Marketing Edge