OWOG brings relief to widows

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Ayinba Mojisola Adams, wife of the Aare Ona Kakanfo and leader of Oodua People’s Congress (OPC), Aare Gani Adams, at the weekend, put smiles on the faces of 20 widows under her OASIS Women Organisation (Oasis Women Organisation (OWOG) initiative.

At the 9th annual empowerment programme, which held at the Banquet Hall, R&A City, Allen Avenue, Ikeja, Lagos, the women, who were selected through “feasibility study from links and personal contacts” went home with sewing machines, grinding machines, deep freezers, food items and soaps .

Speaking at the event, the chairperson of the organisation, Ayinba Adams, stated that the essence of the organisation, which started 10 years ago, was to empower the widows, who are usually vulnerable to economic empowerment, at the demise of their husbands. No thanks to the harsh treatments some of them have to go through because of the cultural practices in some areas.

“Looking at it from the Yoruba or Igbo culture, there is a harsh treatment meted to a woman when she loses her husband, as she is held responsible for it. Some might have to stop work permanently because they have to stay away from their source of livelihood during the mourning period, which varies from place to place.”

“Again, I don’t believe in being a full house wife. Though when I got married, my husband wanted me to be a full time housewife, but it was not funny at all for the first three years. I was uncomfortable carrying out some obligations that required money, and even asking my husband for money when it affected my family. I didn’t enjoy such a lifestyle until I decided to start working. In the process of being a full time housewife doing nothing, you lose your shape, focus, status, feeling inferior to ones contemporaries because you are at home cooking and taking care of children most times. But a woman who goes out to work will know how to plan her finances without being a burden on any man; will learn new things and be abreast of what is happening around her. The quest to assist widows and the oppressed prompted this initiative,” she said.

Ayinba Adams maintained that though these issues are integral part of the many sacrifices women make, an ideal woman should champion womanhood and detest anything that will project womanhood in negative light.

She urged recipients of the gesture to put machines they received to good use and be accountable so that they can in turn be a blessing to others in the future.

She thanked OASIS partners, who over the years have been committed to the spirit of giving voluntary in support of the empowerment programme.

“OWOG is committed to alleviating the many sufferings of widows in the society,” she said.

Adams also said OWOG was born out of her passion for putting smiles on the faces of the less-privileged in the society. “I live my life for the under-privileged and this is what makes me happy. It is not easy doing all these annually without the backings of government or donor agencies but I am a fulfilled woman because we are opportune to make some people happy. From time to time we assist women and children. I work with a wonderful team and I am over joyous because we have achieved a lot since inception. We won’t relent in doing more and assisting humanity in whatever way we can.”

One of the beneficiaries, Mrs. Balogun Bose, 73, who received an sewing machine at the occasion said her husband died 15 years ago after being sick for many months and it has not been easy catering for the children. The mother of four who since then has been living from hand to mouth said the machine will help her to feed her children.

 

Another beneficiary who identified herself as Adesumbo Olaoye, after receiving her gift pack from OWOG said, she has being longing to purchase a refrigerator or deep freezer for over 18 months to aid her in selling sachet water but she has not been able to raise the needed sum.

Similarly, Kehinde Ojo, who also got a sewing machine and has two of her children on scholarship under the initiative thanked Mrs. Adams for her kind gesture adding that life would been harder if not for the assistance by OWOG.

“This is a big relief and I can’t thank God enough for counting me worthy to be a partaker of these great blessing. I sell Pure (sachet) water and soft drinks and I have been trying all this while to raise money so as to purchase a refrigerator or deep freezer, all my efforts have been fruitless. This is a big relief. I will live the rest of my life to cherish OWOG.”

The event was not all about gift sharing, as those present also received pep and health talks from guests at the event.

Dr. Joe Okei-Odumakin, President Women Arise, who was the guest speaker, speaking on the plight of women, identified qualities of a woman in a happy home to be tenacious, tenderly, kind hearted and a nurturer. Other qualities include being a great manager, great leader par excellence and a survivor.

She urged them to “be a positive change agent, get involved in the development of the society, don’t underestimate your little efforts and small beginnings and be determined to train up their children properly.”

She also urged them to speak up and seek help if they are involved with violent spouse. “Enough of these unwanted and unwarranted deaths and maiming that seems to be on the increase now.”

Chief Matron Ola-Oki Hospital, Mrs. Senami Oki also gave a health talk on ‘Silent Killers.’ Most prominent among them is hypertension. She identified the three types to include primary, secondary and induced hypertension.

She advised the women to constantly check their weight and blood pressure constantly, especially from age 45; avoid vices like smoking and excessive intake of alcohol and herbal products, which can damage the kidney or liver.

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