Deputy Public Affairs Officer, US Consulate General in Nigeria, Jennifer Foltz, has urged Nigerian women to redouble efforts to improve their wellbeing and become self reliant.
Foltz made the call in Enugu on Wednesday at a one-day interactive session held in collaboration with an Enugu based Non Governmental Organization, Healing Hearts Widows Support Foundation (HHWSF).
She encouraged women to embark on small businesses that required little capital to start in order to cater for their families and wellbeing.
According to her, when women are empowered, they give back to the family, community and society at large.
The deputy public affairs officer disclosed that the consulate had trained no fewer than 9,000 Nigerians including Persons With Disabilities (PWD) in various capacity building programmes and provided them with both technical and financial support.
Foltz commended the Founder of Healing Hearts Widows Foundation, Mrs Gozie Udemezue for alleviating plights of indigent widows in the South East of Nigeria adding that such gestures should be encouraged and emulated.
Earlier, the founder of the HHWSF, Udemezue, said she embarked on the project to help widows who faced harmful traditional practices and were not financial stable to overcome their challenges.
The founder said that many widows were disinherited by their in-laws while some had no jobs to support their families hence the establishment of the foundation.
Udemezue, who is also a widow, urged widows not to wallow in self pity rather they should rise up and tackle their problems by being self reliant and fight for their right.
According to her, days are gone when widows are seen as second class citizens. You should not relent in raising your children through legitimate activities and doing the right things.
She thanked the US consulate and other donors to the foundation for their support in improving the lives of widows across the country.
In a presentation entitled, “Common Preventable Diseases of Women“, a Medical Practitioner, Dr Kene Iloh urged women to make their healthcare a priority.
Iloh listed common diseases in women to include breast and cervical cancers, hypertension, and diabetes pointing out that the only way to prevent them was early detection through regular medical checks.
He also advised them to engage in regular exercises and eat healthy diets as well as visit hospitals whenever the need arose.
Some of the widows narrated their experiences in the hands of their in laws which moved guests at the event to tears.
Highlights of the event include presentation of cheques and other gifts to indigent widows by the deputy public affairs officer.
One of the beneficiaries, Mrs Ogochukwu Eneh, thanked the foundation and the US Consulate for their support and promised to utilize the funds for the upkeep of her three daughters.