Wife of Governor of Anambra State Mrs Ebelechukwu Obiano has appealed to widows to stop seeking self-pity, when they lose their spouse.
Mrs Obiano, Founder of an NGO, `Caring Family Enhancement Initiative (CAFE),’ made the appeal as Anambra joined the rest of the World to mark the International Widows Day in Awka.
International Widows Day is a UN- assisted event every June 23 annually to address injustices faced by widows.
Mrs Obiano, known widely in Anambra as `Osodieme’, observed that widowhood was a reality that could happen to anyone.
“Feeling sorry for self, can downrightly be self destructive. It makes overcoming adversities difficult, if not impossible and can keep you stuck.
“The opportunity for widows is better now. In years past widows went through many debasing practices in many cultures, including ours.
“It is now left for you to detach yourselves from self-pity and face the challenges of life.’’
The Governor’s wife was represented at the event by Senior Special Assistant to Governor on Social Re-Orientation, Mrs Mitchelle Onugbolu.
Osodieme, then, reminded them that the end of a husband’s life was not the end their own lives.
“No doubt the loss of a husband is usually traumatic for women especially, young widows but do not let people be too sympathetic and too empathetic of you.’’
According to her, government and NGOs are helping widows to outlive social isolation, economic challenges and grief, through skills acquisition programmes in order to grow stronger and better.
“Widows should avail themselves of CAFE empowerment trainings and be seek relevant information about their health and happenings around them.’’
She commended founder of Virtuous Widows Association for bringing widows together to commemorate the day.
The key speaker of the event and Managing Director, National Light Newspaper, Sir Chuka Nnabuife said that widows were faced with enormous challenges in providing for themselves and their children.
Sir Nnabuife went philosophical, when he described widows as “spiritual beings that God will need to trust more because of their afflictions’’.
He, then, urged them to keep themselves holy and continue in supplication to God, day and night.
“God will keep your children alive. Sustain yourselves in prayers, have strong faith in God; do not engage in hostility with any other person but most importantly, believe in God as widowhood is not a sin, neither the end of life.’’
The Convener and founder of Virtuous Widows Association, Mrs Ifeyinwa Egbosiuba said that the NGO had existed since the past eight years, with sole objective of enriching lives of widows through empowerment and skills acquisition.
She solicited for more advocacy and collaboration with government to give widows new lease of life, through empowerment, budgetary allocations for their self upliftment and that of family.
The event, was anchored by popularly Actor and Entertainer, Chief Chika Okpala aka `Zebrudaya Okoroigwe Nwogbo’, and capped by presentation of Awards of Excellence to some people including Sir Nnabuife.
Other activities include songs rendition, novelty football matches.
There was also distribution of empowerment items such as two sewing machines, three electric; two charcoal–powered ovens; five travel suitcases and two petrol-powered grinding machines to outstanding members of the association. (MOI)