By Joseph Erunke
ABUJA-A total of 48 widows of soldiers killed in the ongoing Boko Haram insurgents in the North East have been trained within one year, on various vocational skills by the Defence and Police Officers Wives Association, DEPOWA, a Non Governmental Organisations for wives of officers of the Nigerian Army, Nigerian Navy, Nigerian Air Force and the Nigerian Police Force.
Equally, 65 wives of personnel without job have been trained on various vocational skills by the organisation to support their breadwinners in their families.
This was even as the organisation donated various items worth millions of naira, ranging from writing materials to food items to Abuja School For the Blind Children as part of its humanitarian mandate.
The training of the women on vocational skills, according to the organisation, was aimed at positively touching the lives of wives of soldiers who died while fighting Boko Haram terrorists in the North East.
Speaking at the graduation ceremony of the third batch of the trainees in Abuja, wife of the Chief of Defence Staff, Mrs Omobolanle Olonisakin, said the sole aim of the organisation was to complement both directly and indirectly, the welfare programmes of the Nigerian Armed Forces and the police for the barracks community and its environ.
The wife of the Defence chief disclosed that since inception of the DEPOWA Skills Acquisition Centre in late 2015, two batches of trainees had successfully graduated.
“The first batch had 26 trainees out of which 14 were widows while the second batch had 43 students from which 15 were widows.
“Out gathering here today is to witness the graduation of the third set of 44 trainees of which 19 of them are widows, “she said, while presiding over the graduation ceremony yesterday, at the organisation’s Asokoro, Abuja headquarters.
She said the ability of of the organisation to graduate the third batch of the trainees was an assurance that it was consolidating on its right track records of developing the womenfolk and indeed the less privileged in the society with particular particular emphasis on widows of slain heroes.
“It is also an assurance that we are on the right path to empowering Nigeria, thereby contributing to human and national development, “she added.
Mrs Olonisakin charged the women who learnt various skills including tailoring, baking, making beads, producing various soaps and disinfectant and carrying out various types of makeup as well as hairdressing, to learn along their trade.
” The last few months of your lives would be considered a waste if the knowledge acquired here, little as it may seem, is not put to productive use for the benefit of your families, people around you and the nation at large, “she told the trainees.
To ensure they kept to what they have learnt, Olonisakin said the trainees, especially widows were given starter packs and financial assistance to start up their businesses.
” It should be noted that from time to time, we will conduct a follow-up appraisal to see how well you are doing, “she told them.
Earlier, the organisation’s officials, led by Mrs Olonisakin visited Abuja school for the Blind Children, where several writing and other items including food worth millions of naira were presented to the school.
Also, speaking at the event, Mrs Olonisakin charged wealthy Nigerians to identify not only the poor but also the physically challenged in the society.
The objectives of DEPOWA include promotion of cordial relationship amongst its members while helping women play their roles in national development by organizing seminars, symposia, workshops and conferences with the aim of exposing and educating women on opportunities and facilities available to them both locally and internationally.
The post Boko Haram: Women group trains 48 widows of fallen heroes, 65 others on vocational skills appeared first on Vanguard News.