By Ebunoluwa Sessou
In a bid to advance women and children’s issues in Nigeria, the International Women’s Society (IWS) held its annual November luncheon as well as celebrated its 65th anniversary aimed at raising funds to run its projects in the following year.
The 65the President of the Society, Ifeoma Monye in an interview with Vanguard revealed that the planned projects include a Day Nursery, which has been running since the inception of the organisation; scholarship schemes; home for abandoned children running for 13 years; a skills acquisition centre which has been on since 1999 and a widow’s trust fund set up in 2000.
I“Widows go through a lot and aside from losing their husbands and dealing with the whole mental anguish, most of them do not have any skill set, have never worked in their lives and they have to fend for their children.
“We first counsel them to be able to deal with their loss, then we empower them and sometimes give scholarships to their children to go to school. This is encapsulated in our widow’s trust fund.
“At different times, we have done different programmes aside Lagos state. We have been to the IDP camps and now with the floods, we have given them to victims. Majority of us are in Lagos but that does not limit our exposure, we go to places when the need arises”, she said.
On funding, Monye noted that any amount raised would be used to cater for the projects, adding that “the organisation is constantly in need of funds.
“We have a day nursery running and it is highly subsidised, so we need money to run this. Right now, we have five children at our home for abandoned children. We are trying to get them adopted; we are working with the Ogun State government so they can be in permanent homes. This is our way of giving back,” she added.
“There are projects including Chess for girls, STEM programmes for girls and mentoring for girls.
“For each of them, we are training 200 girls in underserved communities. We went to Yaba and Lekki communities; we spoke to the Bales and other community leaders that they should give us girls who will come to our centres once a week and then we train and feed them and ensure they have the skill set to compete with their counterparts anywhere in the world,” she said.
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