Research and Statistics unit of our Network carried out gender vulnerability assessment and encountered pathetic situations and heard stories that were heart breaking. They interviewed some widows who lamented bitterly about the wicked practises melted on them by family members of their late husbands, some of them have been chased out with their children out of their homes and were accused of killing their husbands.
The development challenges of widows in Nigeria especially in the southeastern part ranges from tradition and laws of men to lack of economic empowerment. The tradition relegates these vulnerable women to zero position and never allows their voices to be heard. They struggle to be liberated but male chauvinism and tradition of men would not allow them. Because they are impoverished, they remain slaves to men who give them peanuts and take advantage of them.
Afri-Mission and Evangelism Network is working very hard to help these widows and other indigent women who are underserved, oppressed, marginalized, discriminated against and stigmatized. We have supplied foods, vegetable oil and wrappers to widows and indigent women and about 500 target persons have benefitted from this program. We have also constructed and furnished 3 houses for 3 homeless widows. We are presently working in collaboration with Kairos Foundation for women and girls to construct Skill Acquisition and Human Right Centre for widows and indigent women in the FCT and Enugu state where they will be empowered with income generating skills, human right knowledge and startup grants/kits to enable them generate income for themselves and children and stand up for their rights and say no to any form of oppression. We plan to pull out 200 widows and indigent women out of poverty through this economic empowerment and social emancipation and raise 5 advocacy groups that will speak on their behalf annually.
About 100 widows and indigent women recently benefitted from the condition cash transfer program of Afri-Mission and Evangelism Network to cushion the effect of economic hardship in Nigeria. We are looking forward to doing more for widows in accordance with the word of God “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world”. (James 1:27)