Staff of the World Bank and a non-government organisation, Citizens’ Health Education and Development Initiative (CHEDI) have empowered 60 indigent women in the FCT with grinding machines and cash.
The Executive Director, CHEDI, Selina Enyioha, said that the initiative was part of efforts to eradicate poverty in the country.
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The women, who were also given ear protectors to reduce the effect of noise from the grinding machines when being used, were also given cash of five thousand each to support their businesses.
According to her, the empowered women were drawn from across the six area councils of the FCT after careful scrutiny for the World Bank Staff Community Connections Campaign (FY2021)
Enyioha urged the beneficiaries against selling the machines but use them to better their lives, so that they can in turn help others.
“We all know that with the economic situation in the country occasioned by COVID-19 and worsened by insecurity, banditry, kidnapping, rape and other vices, everyone is qualified for empowerment.
“From our Community Need Assessment conducted in some of the area councils, most of the women interviewed requested to be empowered with grinding machines which they can stay at home to operate.
“They said many of them were scared of going to their farms for fear of being kidnapped, raped, or killed. Some of the women, who are breadwinners to their families, can no longer afford to feed their children. The women can no longer send their children to school, or pay hospital bills, hence they needed an alternative means of livelihood,” Enyioha said.
She also urged them to begin to save from the proceeds realised from the machine to help them to be economically sufficient to expand their businesses.
She said the organisation would be visiting the beneficiaries on a quarterly basis to know how far they were going with the empowerment and the proceeds generated from the businesses.
She urged other similar organisations to emulate CHEDI and do the same for the less privileged in society.
On his part, the Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, commended CHEDI for the initiative, noting that, the organisation had been committed to improving the health of people from the rural areas.
The minister represented by the Population Program Officer, Health Planning Research and Statistics, of the ministry, Mr. Ogbonna Michael, said that the ministry had witnessed many empowerments programme done by CHEDI.
According to him, CHEDI had been able to empower over 100 indigent women from Durumi and Gbagalape communities with a skill acquisition programme.
He added that CHEDI also donated some hospital equipment and installed solar power to Primary Health Care in some parts of Nasarawa State communities and the FCT.