As part of the Yuletide celebration, the Chinwe Bode-Akinwande (CBA) Foundation, a non-governmental organisation in Nigeria, has reached out to four communities in Nnewi, Anambra State.
The event, which was held on Friday, December 24, 2021 saw over 75 widows from four communities going home with food items and financial empowerment to celebrate the festive season.
Commenting on the initiative, CEO of the CBA Foundation, Mrs. Chinwe Bode Akinwande, said the basis for diligently driving the foundation is derived from the passion and need to impact the lives of underprivileged widows who have gone through pain and discrimination and might have lost hope.
“We are embarking on the outreach at this festive season, so they (widow) can at least have something to eat and share with their love once.
“We give hope to the hopeless. We are driven to support underprivileged widows to have a positive outlook on life despite the problems they experience by losing their loved one, mostly the breadwinner of the family.”
Meanwhile, in furtherance of its mission to continually protect the well-being of underprivileged widows in Nigeria, the Foundation has launched a social enterprise initiative, which is aimed at ensuring the long-term sustenance of widows’ welfare as well as their children.
The initiative, catered to the financial, mental and physical health needs of 165 widows across six communities in Ibeju-Lekki, 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 acquisition, business set-up, food and drinks, clothes and shoes, and support for the affected widows.
Speaking on the initiative, Mrs. 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.”
Through First Bank of Nigeria’s partnership with Vision Spring, the Foundation was able to cater for several 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.
Mrs. Abiola Jacob, who attempted suicide few weeks ago, but for the timely intervention of some fishermen found her and were able to identify her as one of the adapted widow of CBA Foundation and they brought her to us.
Speaking, the excited woman said: “All this day, I use to think before they (CBA Foundation) came and ask me what I want to do, I told them if I can see someone that will help me. I really thank God and I thank the place they provide all this item, I pray God will continue to provide for them and bless them.”
Hassanat Oyewunmi, 59 year old said: “I am very happy I can even stare at the sun now without feeling faint,” 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.
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.