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Empowering women means mobilising society for economic dev’t, says IHVN official



Mrs Safiya Sani, an official of the Institute of Human Virology Nigeria (IHVN) has said that empowering women is synonymous with mobilising the society toward socio-economic development.

Sani, who is the Desk Officer, Orphans and Vulnerable Children (OVC) at the IHVN, Nasarawa state, made this known during the share-out programme of Helping Hand Savings Group (a village savings and loans association) organised by Innovative Solution to Development Initiative (ISD), an NGO, in Massaka, Nassarawa State.

Nigeria News Agency reports that the group is one of ISD’s intervention programmes initiated to cater to care-givers of orphans and vulnerable children in the society.

“If you empower the woman, she is able to take care of her family’s needs, support them, provide for their upkeep,  which invariably means she is taking care of herself and her community,” Sani said.

She commended ISD for its dedication and commitment toward improving the lives of women, saying that only a transparent organisation would do so.

 “So we are really proud of what ISD has done in the community with the support of stakeholders.

“They have done a lot; they have block grants which enables children to go to school free of any levy, and this is Household Economic Strengthening (HES) that supports the mothers in the community.

“We also have skill acquisition (programme) for children who are out of school.

“And all these are results of what ISD is doing in the community.

“We love to see that ISD is transparent. If they are not transparent they won’t ask anyone to come and witness what they are doing.

“So we applaud ISD for their services and we hope that they will do greater things in the community and make us proud,” she added.

Sani urged the public to take its cue from these women by not despising little beginnings.

“Even with as little as 10,000 naira, something can be achieved; so we shouldn’t close our minds up and think that without a huge amount of money we cannot do anything to help or support ourselves and our communities,” she said.

Speaking at the event, the Executive Director of ISD, Mr Yahaya Yakubu who was represented by the Grants and Compliance Manager of ISD, Mr Jonah Agbaji expressed satisfaction with the women.

Yakubu emphasised ISD’s commitment to continually supporting “any group that is performing”.

“They have proved to us that among all the communities that we have, they can do bigger things – projects – with the little resources given to them.

“So we are proud of them and that is why ISD supported them during their share-out with an extra token.

“And any group that is doing well will be supported. The Executive Director Mr Yahaya Yakubu is committed to doing that,” he said.

The Programme Manager, Jadon Paul expressed appreciation to ISD for the opportunity given to the women, saying: “it is their resilience that has brought them this far.”

He, therefore, urged the public to develop the culture of saving as the amount saved would be useful “on a rainy day” or during difficult situations.

“I want to thank ISD for the effort that has been put into managing and encouraging them since May to get to this point.

“It is important that all Nigerians develop this culture of savings.

“A lot of times people find themselves in trouble because they don’t save for a rainy day; we spend as we go,” he said.

Some of the beneficiaries who spoke with NAN expressed gratitude to ISD for the support given to them and promised to continue with what they have started.

NAN reports that Helping Hand Savings Group began operation in May 2019 with about 17 women who contributed resources on a weekly basis for the purpose of supporting one another in times of need arises.

As at the time of the share out they had saved 153,000 naira.

Stakeholders in attendance at the event included the representatives of Sarkin Hausawan Massaka, IHVN, and the Centre for Disease Control.

Edited & Vetted By: Emmanuel Yashim

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