A non-governmental organisation, the United Business Women Association of Nigeria and Diaspora (UBWAND) has empowered over 1,000 widows, women and youths in Onitsha, Anambra State.
The beneficiaries received bags of rice, wrappers, souvenirs and cash gifts, among other items. The founder, Dr Nkiruka Duru, while inaugurating the association in the state, said she was passionate about women, who are engaged in meaningful ventures.
“We found out that women, especially the business women do not have a say in the society. We want to make women have their say; we want to be voice of women. To bring women together and chat a course for ourselves.
“Women have suffered a lot in this country from poverty and bad governance,” she said. Duru said her dream was to ensure that women speak with one voice against injustices and maltreatment.
“We want to make women know that even in their villages, they have rights to good things and that they are no longer confined to the kitchen,” she added.
She said the association, founded in 2020, has over 100,000 members in the 36 states of the Federation and over 500 members in 20 countries.
The founder also disclosed that her association had set up skills programme where widows, women and youths acquire various skills for self-reliance and are empowered with various equipment at the end of each training.
Declaring the event open, the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2021 governorship election in Anambra, Mr Valentine Ozigbo commended women for their roles in building the home, community and the nation.
Ozigbo, who was represented by his running mate in the election, Mrs Azuka Enemuo, however expressed concern that not much had been done to assist women in the country.
“Do not relent in doing that which will make the country better,” he advised. He also commended the founder of the association for her capacity to draw women together to empower them.
In an interview, the state Coordinator of the association, Amb. Hon. Ngozi Obiakor, said the group had impacted positively in the lives of women and children in the past two years.
“Our aim of this association is to help the needy; when you look back towards the time of COVID-19, she went round all the state to make sure that children were not hungry. She has a way of helping the widows,” Obiakor added. She said UBWAND is spread across the 21 Local Government Areas of the state with over 20,000 members.
In recognition of their contributions to humanity, the association used the opportunity of the event to honour five persons with awards. Two award recipients, Ezinne Cecilia Okpala and Chief Mike Obim expressed delight at the honour and prayed to God to continue to give her the strength to sustain the programme.