By Stanley Onyekwere
A Non Governmental Organisation (NGO), Citizens’ Health Education and Development Initiative (CHEDI) has distributed one hundred grinding machines, heavy duty earmuffs and five thousand Naira token (each) to vulnerable women and girls in FCT and Nasarawa state respectively.
CHEDI noted that the economic empowerment programme was funded through the World Bank Staff Community Connections Campaigns for 2022.
Speaking during the distribution of the items at the Govt Secondary School, Wuse 2, Abuja, CHEDI’s Executive Director, Chief Mrs. Selina Akunna Enyioha, described the beneficiaries as special people, as they were fished out from among millions of women and girls that require assistance in Nigeria.
Enyioha explained that from the Community Needs Assessment the Initiative conducted in some of the communities, most of the women interviewed requested to be empowered with grinding machines which they can operate at home or close to their homes.
She added that many of the beneficiaries were scared of venturing to their farms for fear of being kidnapped, raped or at times, killed, and some of
them who are bread winners to their families, could no longer afford feeding their children, send
them to school or pay hospital bills, hence they needed an alternative means of livelihood.
According to her, with the economic situation in the country now, compounded by Covid-I9 pandemic and worsened by insecurity, banditry, kidnapping, rape and other vices,
everyone is now in need and qualifies tor some form of empowerment.
“Today, we are empowering 49 vulnerable women from Nasarawa State and 51 from FCT. And we are very grateful to our Funders, the World Bank Staff for accepting the idea of empowering these vulnerable women with petrol operated grinding machines as requested.
“With this empowerment now, they are assured of daily income, to help pay school fees for their children, take care of some other family needs.
“About this time last year, we also empowered 60 Vulnerable Women from the 6 FCT Area Councils from funds provided by the same World Bank Staff.
She encouraged the beneficiaries to engage in collective savings (Osusu), which will help them to make some savings, to ensure that they maintain the grinding machines and have someone leftovers for other needs.
She used the opportunity to appeal to other similar organizations and rich individuals to
borrow a leaf from the World Bank staff by emulating their kind gesture and proving funds to CHEDI to empower more women for a better tomorrow.
A beneficiary from Nasarawa state, Nkem Ezenwa, expressed profound gratitude to CHEDI and World Bank Staff for commitment to reach the unreached in the society.
She equally the Initiative always focusing more on the remote rural communities to bring assistance to the people in dire need.
The economic empowerment programme also featured Goodwill messages from representatives of Ministers of Federal Ministry of humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development; Federal Ministry of Women Affairs; Federal Ministry of Health; Federal Ministry of Budget and National amongst other dignitaries that graced the occasion.