IFTDO-CYWE Empowers Widows, Gives Awards

The Chairman of the International Federation of Training and Development Organisation (IFTDO) and Committee for Youth and Women Empowerment (CYWEE), Mrs. Janet Jolaoso, has urged Widows to live a purposeful life and refuse stigmatization of any form.

Mrs. Jolaoso made this statement during the Widows Empowerment Ceremony and Awards programme held recently, at the University campus, Ota, Ogun State, in conjunction with TotalEnergies and Covenant University.

According to Mrs. Jolaoso, “Widows have been subjected to uncountable inhumane treatment and cultural inundation, adding that the purpose of IFTDO/CYWEE  is to empower and train widows to be financially independent and self-reliant, and to be relevant and useful to their immediate families, communities and the country as a whole.”

The Chairman said the primary motive of the organisation is to give voice to women, impact and empower them and ensure all widows smile again irrespective of horrendous experiences they might have been subjected to.

She thanked TotalEnergies and Covenant University for their support in the past years, and continual support, especially for this event.

In his opening remarks, the Vice-Chancellor, of Covenant University, Prof. Abiodun H. Adebayo, stated that Widows are facing battles and challenges which they know nothing about.  “They are left unseen, unheard and unsupported. They fight all forms of injustice, hardship and stigmatisation all alone. Some have lost their lives in this dehumanising state of perpetual struggles, mysteries and pains, while others have become living corpses and shadows of their old selves,” he added

Adebayo further stated that there are over 250 million Widows in the world and that 50 million of them are in Nigeria; empowering them with the necessary resources, skills, and support to enable them to regain control over their lives and overcome the challenges, is essential for every individual, organisation, religious group and the government.

The Vice-Chancellor, further stated that financial empowerment alone is not enough to alleviate the precarious situation of most widows in the society, and went on to identify other aspects of empowerment, which include, creating an enabling environment to exercise their skills; education, vocational training, legal assistance (inheritance and property rights), healthcare and support systems for physical, emotional and psychological wellbeing.

In her remarks, the representative of TotalEnergies, Mrs. Adesua Adewole, stated that widows are an integral part of society and fundamental to the future of the society, because, they empower their children for the future by doing great things today.

Going down memory lane, Mrs. A. Adewole pointed out that TotalEnergies has been partnering with IFTDO since December 2021. She said the company is committed to empowering an additional 23 women from 3 different states across the country, advising the beneficiaries not to squander the money given to them.

In addition, Mrs Adewole said TotalEnergies is committed to creating value where it operates, while supporting the United Nations in meeting the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), through its programs and activities.

She also stated, “In meeting the objectives, the company placed Sustainable Development at the heart of all their projects and operations, and opened a strong partnership with key stakeholders which involved 3 special goals, which are – No Poverty, Zero Hunger, and Gender Equality.”

Conclusively, she said, the company believes women are naturally resilient, resourceful, and prudent in the management of resources, being the bedrock of the family, therefore women contribute immensely to the economy of the nation.

She, therefore, urged the beneficiaries to think in the long term, to grow their businesses and impact their immediate families, communities, and the country as a whole.

In her contribution, the Honourable Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Development in Ogun State, Motunrayo Adijat Adeleye, thanked IFTDO/CYWEE for the privilege to be a part of the event, as well as the acknowledgement of her office, and assured that the Ogun State government will support future programmes. She added, “Every widow deserves to be seen, heard and supported to regain her confidence. Wherever women are being empowered, I always want to be identified, because women are given back their dignity and self-sufficiency.”

One of the facilitators, Mrs. Dúpẹ́ Olayokun, encouraged Widows to make a difference, stating that ‘being a widow is not a stigma.’ She stated further that getting out of shock from the demise of a spouse depends on the individual, and highlighted steps to the purposeful living of a widow such as accommodation, children’s schooling/education, monitoring, development and upbringing, learning of skills by the widow, and searching for opportunities which abound.