Elijah’s Widows and Orphans Mission International (EWOMI) was established in 2014, to alleviate the sufferings of widows, empower them to sustain their families and provide a better life for their children.
The mission started as a vision to work towards supporting government in the bid to put an end to extreme poverty, abuse, rejection and exploitation of the underprivileged in the society unto a sustainable life of comfort while motivating orphans to attain a greater future through skill acquisitions and qualitative education.
Elijah’s Widows and Orphans Mission International (EWOMI) is stepping in to the world of widows and their children, providing succor for them and championing their case, creating a positive outcome for them and their families through social and economic empowerment.
EWOMI currently provides vocational skills and financial assistance which include food, clothing and shelter to many widows and orphans in Abuja; a support which will help them become more productive members of the society.
For the widows who are often left behind, EWOMI calls on government for stronger legislation on the commemoration of International Widows Day.
Widowhood represents social death in several communities; the loss, a devastating blow – an understatement.
The death of a husband and father signals loss of stability and status for many families in Nigeria. In many households, the male figure often stands as a breadwinner and in cases where the wives do not have a source of their own, the husband would then be the sole provider such that when he dies, the family often feels something way beyond bereavement. His death robs his family of their financial and social standing and thus they suffer the most extreme forms of poverty, discrimination, stigma, physical, sexual and mental abuse.
For years, the term “widowhood” was associated to elderly retired females who had lost their husbands at some point in their lives and had decided to live out their golden years alone. Today, widowhood stares at us in a larger proportion as younger women are now becoming widows.
Statistics show that higher mortality rate among middle-aged men especially in comparison with lower mortality rate among their female counterparts, a prevalence of younger wives than husbands and so on are some of the reasons for the high number of widowhood among younger women today. Their children face horrors such as child marriage, illiteracy, forced labour, human trafficking, homelessness and sexual abuse.
The 2015 World Widows Report by the Loomba Foundation reveals an estimation of 258 million widows with 584.6 million offspring around the world and nearly one in ten live in extreme poverty. Together with their children, they are malnourished, exposed to diseases and subjected to extreme forms of deprivation. They experience targeted murder, rape, prostitution, forced marriage, property theft, eviction, social isolation and physical abuse. Another estimate reveals that about 1.5 million widows’ children in the world die before their fifth birthday.
To give special recognition to the situation of widows world over, the United Nations General Assembly thus declared June 23rd International Widows’ Day. The day effects actions to raise awareness on and help widows and their children who suffer through poverty, illiteracy, HIV/AIDS, conflict and social injustice- highlighting the “Invisible Issues faced by these “Invisible women” in our society.
Widowhood practices have attracted global attention on violence against women. Sufficient evidence suggests that widows are severely affected financially, socially, sexually and psychologically.
Abuse of widows and their children constitutes one of the most serious violations of human rights and obstacles to development. Today, we hear that millions of widows endure all of these hardships for the sake of their children, just so they can keep them.
For their children, they want to do the unbelievable, the seemingly unattainable. This is the only thing they have (their dividend, their treasure) and so they want to hold on to them, providing them with the most basic needs, however little or insufficient even if they are far cry from luxury.
According to World Bank Group’s Women, Business and the Law 2016 Report, out of 173 countries, 90% have at least one law limiting women’s economic participation, including constraints on their ability to inherit or own land. Unmarried women live with their parents; married women belong to their husbands. Then we wonder who exactly protects the widows?
In Africa, widows are victims of all kinds of harassment and discrimination. After losing their husbands, widows may suffer double blow – (1) financial hardship and (2) accusation of witchcraft. While in the process, they are denied access to their husbands’ properties. Some callous culture and tradition even go all the way, demanding the widow to drink the water used in washing the dead husband’s body or to have sex with an in-law or a total stranger. It is that bad!
It is bad to the extent that women in several Nigerian communities dread the experience of widowhood. Research reveals that about 15 million widows in Nigeria are in dire need of every form of assistance, another report reveals that the number of widows in the North-East had sky-rocketed from 10,000 in 2013 to a higher figure due to insurgency.
Several widows find themselves homeless as their husband’s families may neglect them, confiscate properties owned by their late husbands because many have little or no education or skills , they suffer with their children.
In the bid to fend for themselves and their children, they face humiliation. They beg for food. Yes! It is that bad. Widows and their children sometimes go without good meals for days.
By all means they want to put food on their table, they want to pay their children’s school fees, they want to address their health issues, they want to maintain the roof over their heads and while at it, they meet countless obstacles. They are accused of witchcraft; they are also sometimes tagged “husband snatchers” even by their so-called close friends.
As a nation, we have a mandate to ensure widows are empowered and protected from abuse, from stigmatization, from humiliation and more so from financial hardship. With women becoming more educated, economically independent and aware of their rights particularly in the 21st century, they become more immune to psychological stress and other extreme forms society make them go through. They are beginning to stand up for their rights by saying no to barbaric practices.
Providentially, reports reveal that The Nigerian Government already signed into law Violence Against Persons (Prohibition) (VAPP) Act, an act which is meant to protect citizens against various forms of violence, including negative practices against widows.
To this end, former UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon urges the world “We must erase the social stigmatization and economic deprivation that confronts widows; eliminate their high risk of sexual abuse and exploitation; and remove the barriers to resources and economic opportunities that constrain their future.”
Child’s Rights Advancement and Protection Initiatives (CRAPI) is committed to the cause of children. Strengthening social and emotional competence in children, CRAPI Foundation creates an enabling environment where children’s rights are upheld, the foundation helps children grow to their full potential so they can advance and in turn transform their families and the society at large.
Ensuring this transformation sees the light of day, CRAPI designs, monitors and implements policies and programs which are meant to foster the growth and personality development of these children. For children in Lagos and Abia States, CRAPI sensitizes them through enlightenment programmes, making them aware about their various rights.
Some of CRAPI’s achievements include:
- Parents Stand Up Against Child Sexual Abuse Project in collaboration with Ministry of Women Affairs, Abia State.
- Combating Child Human Trafficking and Child Labour: This project is implemented in collaboration with NAPTIP and Ogunbela Avenue/Fola Ojikutu Residents Association in Lagos.
- Production and Distribution of hand Books
- No Baby In Prison Project: It targets the release of pregnant women and nursing mothers in Prisons- with a total of 40 pregnant women and nursing mothers having benefited from this program in Lagos and Abia State
- Advocacy and Litigation of non-implementation of child’s rights Law in Abia state.
- Girl Child Project: Safe & Sound Transition to Womanhood 1& 2.
- Workshop on girls handling developmental changes and challenges. This workshop has resulted in the publication and distribution of the handbook, The Red Affairs, Every girl’s handbook in collaboration with LadyCare and MOWA (Lagos and Abia State).
- SPEAK UP and SAY NO TO BAD TOUCH Projects: At implementation, these two projects has enabled visitations to about 10 schools in Lagos state by experts and the CRAPI foundation with the aim of reaching out to schools to sensitize school children about sexual abuses and the need to break the silence among victims while providing support that is required for rehabilitation.
Other programmes embarked upon by CRAPI include;
- Zero Tolerance for Babies in Prison in Imo and Abia States.
- Bracing up to the Fight against Sexual Abuse.
Established to reform, restructure and revitalize the reading culture of students from primary to tertiary level through mass literacy campaign by building of libraries and reading clubs, Boigedacha Literary Initiative (BLI) was founded in Enugu State in 2010 with a mission to remain committed to effecting Sustainable Development Goal 4.
Acting as a defined positive factor in the development of educational sector in Nigeria through her literacy campaign such as building free libraries for Government primary and secondary schools, a move which thus far has birthed positive behavioral changes amongst students, BLI in the spirit of literacy campaign, collaborates with educational stakeholders and other interest groups in the development of reading culture in Nigeria.
BLI together with partners provide counseling, organize seminars and workshops for students on career guide, the foundation organizes and fosters educational programs in primary schools, colleges, higher institutions and several communities while assisting students whose parents cannot afford payment of school fees.
The foundation also engages in community development projects for socio-economic advancement of communities at large like the Reading Culture Platform which creates literacy centers in primary schools, colleges, higher institutions whileaccommodating school drop-outs and adults in the process.
Amongst BLI Activities:
*Mentoring, counseling and coaching of students in becoming the total child.
*Hosting reading and spelling competitions while teaching students how to learn using the scrabble game.
*Advocacy for the girl child education while campaigning against early marriage and championing good health as well as well-being.
*Engagement in peaceful, non-religious and non-political campaigns for national peace.
Since inception, Boigedacha Literary Initiative has organized about five reading competitions while several books have been given out to more than a hundred schools in five states including FCT Abuja, all with the aim of encouraging reading culture amongst students.
Located in the heart of Olodi Apapa, Lagos, Nigeria, Dako Foundation for Rural Healthcare and Education (DFRHCE) is a humanitarian organisation established in 2008 and focused on improving the living conditions of disadvantaged communities in Nigeria through advocacy, education, public health measures and direct medical interventions. DAKO’s target groups include, under 5 children, women of reproductive ages, youths, People with Disabilities, People Living with HIV/AIDS and the society at large.
The Foundation’s works cut across Lagos, Edo and Imo States of Nigeria with relentless focus on rural and extremely hard to reach areas. Some of the projects implemented by DAKO foundation include:
- Ibienafe’s School Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Project:
At Ibienafe community, South-Ibie, Edo State, Nigeria, Igebo primary school and Ibienafe community secondary school, were most fortunate to be beneficiaries of the Information and Communication Technology project which championed the donation of ICT tools to the two community schools. Through this project, hundreds of students in Ibienafe, South-Ibie, Edo State are now computer literates while about ten primary and five secondary schools in adjourning six communities would also ultimately benefit from the laudable ICT project.
– 7 desktop computers with accessories.
– Computer desks and chairs for students.
– 5000-watt century stabilizer
– 5KVA generator for power.
– A trained resident ICT tutor
– Quarterly technical maintenance.
- Biomedical HIV programmes
As part of efforts to achieve the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) on the 90–90–90 targets aimed at diagnosing 90% of all HIV-positive persons, provide antiretroviral therapy (ART) for 90% of those diagnosed and achieve viral suppression for 90% of those treated by 2020, DAKO foundation has through a line up of activities ensured the implementation and realization of this goal in Lagos and Edo States.
– HIV Counselling and Testing
– Referrals and contact tracing for Positive individuals
– Information, Education and Communication (IEC) materials on HIV/AIDS
– Condom (Male and Female) demonstrations and distribution
– Advocacy on HIV prevention.
- Medical Missions/Outreaches
General health sensitization, medical consultations and treatments, referrals/follow up, free drugs, free eye checks and glasses, vitamin A supplementation and deworming (chewable albendazole) for school children, provision of Insecticide Treated Nets, referrals and medical procedures particularly for cases requiring surgery are also part of activities embarked upon by Dako Foundation in recent times. These activities have reached well over 10,000 rural dwellers in Lagos, Edo and Imo states.
In the process, there was a record of 90 dewormed children: 90 free eye glasses; 273 general treatments; 38 distributed water treatment units; 2 distributed wheel chairs and a clutch.
- Post Flood Disaster Intervention for Victims of Flood
The aim of this outreach which reached over 5,132 people was to alleviate the pains inflicted on flood-ravaged areas of Anegbette, Osomegbe and EkperiUdaba, Etsako Central Local Government Area of Edo State, Nigeria.
Impacts: Distributed antifungal drugs; Distributed easy to use water sanitizing units with storage; Distributed food items;Distributed clothes to community dwellers; Distributed lifesaving prenatal and post-natal multivitamin supplements to pregnant and lactating women; Vitamin A supplementation for children; Medical consultation, prescription and treatment of local prevailing diseases.
- Free Medical Surgery
During a medical mission in Edo State, Nigeria in 2016, DFRHCE came across little Amira aged 18 months who was born with brain tumor. For four years now, Amira has been under direct sponsorship by DFRHCE with free medical care at Dako Medical Centre, Lagos, Nigeria. So far, two surgeries have been done on Amira. The first surgery was conducted in the Emirates with the aim of removing the brain tumor followed by a second surgery carried out in Nigeria to repair Cleft palate and Cleft lip.
- Water Project
An estimated 13,000 people were reached at the construction of a 40 feet high scaffolding to carry 10,000 liters of water reservoir with underground water extension pipes and taps in two communities(Iyerekhu, South –Ibie) Edo State, Nigeria.
As the world focuses on development media, its obvious control especially on the corridors of power cannot be overlooked. For the grand health of any democracy, access to information is most essential and press Freedom, a most effective instrument for a functional democratic system acts as a foundation, a resounding expression, too important to be ignored in a democratic society.
The United Nations’ 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights states: “Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference, and impart information and ideas through any media regardless of frontiers”. Freedom of the press is the freedom of communication and expression through various media; as seen in the modern day electronic media and publications. Such freedom implies the absence of interference from over-reacting leaders. Hostility expressed by leaders towards the media incites violence, in fact it fuels fear for journalists which does not give room to act as watchdog of democracy.
So many theories have defined press freedom, the Libertarian theory, however stands as theory-friendly to the modern-day freedom of the press, it argued that media does not need to be controlled because people would naturally follow their conscience, engage in public debate and create a better life for themselves.
According to Lyman Tower Sargent an American professor of political science, he opined that the seven types of liberty that compose a democratic ideology are: The right to vote; Freedom of speech; Freedom of the press; Freedom of assembly; Freedom of religion; Freedom of movement and Freedom from arbitrary treatment by the political and legal system.
This year’s global theme for World Press Freedom Day is “Media for Democracy: Journalism and Elections in Times of Disinformation”. Information is power, hence it must be timely, concise, clear and reliable. As powerful as information is, it must be curtailed to some point such that false information does not degenerate to Hate Speech or related offences. Currently in Nigeria, any person who publishes defamatory matter is liable to one-year imprisonment, where the person who publishes the defamatory matter and aware that it is false is liable to two years imprisonment.
In line with goal 16 of the SDGs which aims to promote peaceful and inclusive societies based on respect for human rights, the rule of law, accountability and transparency, the United Nations General Assembly hence declared May 3rd as World Press Freedom Day to raise awareness of the importance of freedom of the press and remind governments of their duty to respect and uphold the right to freedom of expression enshrined under Article 19 of the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights with a close reminder to the entire world that in dozens of countries, several publications still remain censored, fined and suspended; while investigative journalists, editors and publishers are continuously harassed, attacked, detained and even murdered in extreme pursuit of stories.
According to the World Press Freedom Index, released by Reporters Without Borders, every year, RWB (2019) establishes a ranking of countries in terms of their freedom of the press. Norway remains still the country with the best press freedom in the world followed by Finland and Sweden ranked second and third on the index, respectively. Netherlands, Denmark, Switzerland, New Zealand and Jamaica also ranked top. Several authoritarian regimes have fallen in the Index. The countries with the least degree of press freedom are China, Eritrea, North Korea and Turkmenistan.
Since the inception of this index in 2013, many African countries have struggled to climb up the ladder. In 2016, Nigeria recorded a decline on the world ranking, falling from 111 to 116; 2018 was no better, the country recorded another fall, moving from 116 to 119 out of 180 countries, year 2019 records 120 on the Index. This is indeed sad.
New record shows that eight journalists have been killed across the world in 2017, while more than 193 are currently imprisoned. Although Nigerian journalists are not so included on death lists. However, Journalists continue to face harassment without protection of the law even in Nigeria. Journalists are often times threatened, subjected to physical violence and even denied access to information by government officials, police officers and sometimes even the public.
Need we be reminded that if the press is constantly controlled, its ability to investigate and expose corruption, bribery, mismanagement, waste, embezzlement and other vices in democratic societies might just be truncated.
Yet again, according to libertarian theory on press freedom, the theory prescribes that an individual should be free to publish what he likes, holding and expressing his or her opinion freely. Obviously, libertarian theory advocates that the press must be seen as partner with government in search of the truth, rather than a tool in the hands of government, a good guide for media practitioners in their quest to helping nations, particularly developing nations grow. While The Social Responsibility Theory opines that the media have obligations to the society, owing them truth and objectivity, the media must ensure to religiously follow agreed codes of ethics and professional conducts to safeguarding public interest.
“Press freedom is the cornerstone of democratic societies. All states, all Nations, are strengthened by information, debate and the exchange of opinions. At a time of growing discourse of mistrust and delegitimization of the press and journalism, it is essential that we guarantee freedom of opinion through the free exchange of ideas and information based on factual truth” Audrey Azoulay, Director-General of UNESCO.
For nonprofits to be registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission; it is required that they go through the process of application as specified by the commission.
The commission requires that the prescribed application form be manually or electronically (online) filled by organisations intending to register, stating in the form, the name of the proposed corporate body which must contain the words: “Incorporated Trustees of (organisation’s name), aims/objectives of the organisation and names/addresses/occupations of the organisation’s secretary.
To be attached to the completed application form are the following; evidence of approval of name, two passport sized photographs, two printed copies of the organisation’s constitution, duly-signed copies of minutes of the meeting appointing the trustees and authorizing the application, showing the people present and the votes scored, the impression of the proposed common seal if the organisation has one and a payment fee of #37,000 (Incorporation of Trustees – 30,000, Certified True Copy of Constitution- 5,000 and Certified True Copy of Incorporated Form -2,000).
This application form must then be signed and submitted to the commission. The commission may at any time require a declaration in the dailies or any other evidence to verify if the statements and particulars provided by the organisations making the application are true and valid.
Failure to provide true and accurate information for the purpose of incorporating trustees with the Corporate Affairs Commission makes the organisation submitting the application liable to a penalty of one-year imprisonment or a fine as specified by the court.
This publication has been produced with the Commonwealth Foundation and the Nigeria Network of NGOs (NNNGO). However, the contents of this publication do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Commonwealth Foundation or NNNGO.
As citizens’ plights increasingly escalate every day with perpetual groans, dismay, discomfort and zero hope, Arms of Comfort Foundation with focus on economic empowerment, rehabilitates and provides educational opportunities to the poor, especially women and children who were made vulnerable through various situations and circumstances in both urban and rural areas.
The president of the foundation Mrs. Toyin Atilolari Afolabi and The Executive Director Mr. Kolawole Afolabi envisioned that every woman and child’s need should and must be met by all means. Thus, the organisation was established in 2016 with a focus on combating societal struggles through the angle of economic and religious aid.
In ensuring that benevolence sees the light of day, AOCF makes certain that comfort reaches the poor, especially women and children in the society through provision of educational opportunities, provision of micro credits, skill acquisition, scholarships, upkeep programmes as well as counselling and rehabilitation with a strong operational presence in Lagos and Ogun states.
In addition to various societal impacts, about seventeen communities in Lagos State are involved in the implementation of ACCORD (Assistance and Care for Children Orphaned and at Risk) a project, sponsored by USAID through Hope Worldwide Nigeria from January 2011 to July 2013. Within this period, the foundation was able to serve a total of 7,522 vulnerable children from 2387 households.
Facilitating Kids Club meetings in 42 and 24 communities of Kosofe and Apapa LGAs respectively, a total of 42 Kids Club meetings which include Adolescent Girls Club are currently run in 14 wards of Kosofe and 24 Clubs in 4 wards of Apapa LGAs every month since June 2015 (Kosofe) and March 2016 in Apapa. In building life skills for these children, various themes are always treated by community volunteers and program officers during the programs.
Meanwhile, since January 2015, AOCF has been involved in a life changing project (LOCAL PARTNERS ON ORPHANS AND VULNERABLE CHILDREN IN NIGERIA)- LOPIN, a project also sponsored by USAID through Association for Reproductive and Family Health (ARFH)which is currently implemented in Kosofe LGA, Lagos State. The project is meant to run for five years.
Today, over seven thousand persons already give resounding testimonies on the great graces they have benefited from ARMS OF COMFORT FOUNDATION, a foundation that has given them true identity and a will to survive.
Contributing to the reduction of disease burdens such as Malaria, Viral Hepatitis and HIV/AIDs through advocacy and free medicals; Holding governments and large corporations accountable on utilization of public wealth; Promoting human, environmental health and sustainable land management; Building capacities and voices of mining impacted communities so they can be aware of their rights and safeguard their environmental resources and Promoting access to water, sanitation and hygiene practices. These and more are the objectives of Neighborhood Environment Watch Foundation(NEW), a humanitarian foundation established towards social responsibility and community development in Nigeria.
With thematic functions directed towards climate change & sustainable land management, smart and sustainable agriculture and livelihood initiatives cum good governance, NEW Foundation advocates, educates and builds skills for the vulnerable such as the women, children and youths to create values and sustainable programs with a focus on impacts that are economically and developmentally driven.
Some of Neighborhood Environment Watch Foundation Projects-Driven Initiatives are:
*Reforestation of 80 Hectares of Degraded lands at Enyigba/Edda communities inAbakaliki LGA, Ebonyi State.
*30,000 planted tree seedlings.
*2000 trained community farmers on Smart agro-forestry.
*Trained youths on tree nursery operation.
*Various tree- seedlings for over 5000 community members for household farming.
*Knowledge Management/Documentations: Several projects have been documented and showcased in this focal point with a publication on one of the projects “Local Solutions to Global Challenges” to this effect.
*ANTI-CORRUPTION, BUDGET MONITORING & GOOD GOVERNANCE: Capacity Building Training on Budget Processes in Anambra South Senatorial District.About 105 persons from various LGAs in Anambra South Senatorial District were trained on budget processes (monitoring and tracking) at the grassroots.
*HEALTHY LIVING: Comprehensive HIV Prevention and Behavioral Change Interventions in Ebonyi State. Over 6585 persons were reached with HIV prevention interventions using the MPPI while 138 Peer Educators were trained to facilitate peer training/sessions,
NEW’s development partners include USAID, UNDP, SOCIETY FOR FAMILY HEALTH, UNICEF, INDEPENDENT CORRUPT PRACTICES & OTHER RELATED OFFENCES COMMISSION (ICPC) and GLOBAL GIVING U.K