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World Widows Day: Foundation empowers 30 widows in Abuja

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Destined Child International Foundation (DCIF), a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) on Saturday empowered 30 widows in Abuja to commemorate the 2019 International Widows Day.

Celebrated annually on June 23, International Widows Day is a UN ratified day of action to address challenges faced by widows and their dependents in many countries across the globe.

Mrs MaryRose Oduche, the founder of DCIF, said at the maiden annual conference of the group in Abuja that the idea was borne out of the need to rally round widows “by ensuring full implementation of their rights.”

Oduche added that the idea was also initiated to acknowledge the voices of widows and take note of the diversity of these women and the roles they played in their circumstances.

She said “there is need to rally round widows by ensuring full implementation of their rights, acknowledging their voices everywhere and taking note of their diversities, roles and circumstances as enshrined in the Beijing declaration.

“Today, we are marking the DCIF annual widows conference with the theme: ‘Honouring the Resilience of the Widow,’ in commemoration of International Widows Day.

“We have received many reports where widows were left to their fate to fend for themselves and families.

“In some more tragic situations, most often than not, widows were inherited by members of husband’s family as  commodity to be used at the discretion of in-laws.

“These are not fairy tales to draw sympathy for widows; sadly, it is happening in our communities as we speak,” she stressed.

According to her, DCIF, established in 2012 engages in pragmatic moves to change the narrative by creating awareness to end dehumanising situations and has continued to provide relief materials to widows.

Mr Ehimen Diagi, the Chief Medical Director, Healthstead Global Limited, Abuja, who was at the event to administer medicare on the widows, said that the company was able to discover five cases of congestive heart failure.

He added that the company also discovered many cases of high hypertension among the widows and called on other NGO’s to emulate the annual practice of DCIF by imparting in the lives of the less privileged.

He said “the major problem of hypertension is that it causes stroke, heart failure, kidney issues, chronic renal failure and other heart diseases.

“Most of these widows here are farmers who work under the sun, one of the aims of this medical care is to catch those who are silently going down healthwise.”

Diagi, however, urged government at all levels to continue to provide social amenities that would impact on the lives of people and cushion the effects of diseases.

Mr Stanley Nwankwo, the Programme Coordinator for DCIF, said that the essence of the programme was to encourage the widows in spite of their challenges “and to tell them that there are people who care about them.”

Nwakwo appreciated the widows for taking care of children which their husbands left behind and called on them to be focused in whatever they were doing.

News Agency of Nigeria reports that DCIF has pledged to take care of the children of some of the widows, drawn from Mpape, a community in Bwari Area Council of FCT, and Dakibiyu, Jabi, Abuja from Primary to Secondary school education.

NAN also reports that the group donated various relief materials such as: cash, clothing, and food items to the widows.

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