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Plateau violence: Foundation empowers 5,000 widows, orphans

Widowhood-14-2-15An NGO based in Jos, Plateau, Bagos Foundation, has empowered 5,000 widows and orphans affected by the violence in the state, its Secretary, Mr Gyang Musa, has said.

Musa told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Wednesday in Jos that the foundation focused on the group to ameliorate the difficulties they were going through after losing their breadwinners to the violence in the state.

“Many children and their mothers became orphans and widows because of the crises and this has exposed them to all manners of economic hardship.

“What we have done is to identify them and try and assist them back to their feet again; we want to give them hope again in life,” he said.

He said that the women were trained in skills like beads making, tailoring, catering, soap-making and hairdressing.

“The youths were also trained to acquire various skills in photography, shoe making, carpentry and joinery as well as the repairs of electronics,’’ he said.

He said trainees were usually assisted to start their individual outfits so as to work toward self reliance and minimise dependence on relations.

“ We see this group as very vulnerable; we felt that some people could take advantage of their situation and so we decided to create sources of livelihood for them,” he said.

Musa pointed out that engaging such persons in useful ventures was good for a society seeking stability, noting that it was dangerous to leave them idle.

“When people are engaged and have a source of livelihood, there will be less crime and instability because they will contribute positively to the society rather then becoming liabilities to the system,’’ he said.

Musa also said that its empowerment scheme, which commenced in 2006, had awarded scholarship for tuition to 250 orphans, adding that that the figures vary according to the schools.

“ The orphans were selected from Jos South, Jos East, Jos North, Ryom and Barkin Ladi Local Governments because we consider these areas as worst hit by the crises,” he said..

The NGO official called on philanthropists, civil society bodies and faith-based organisations to help in empowering vulnerable groups in the society so as to harness all potentials in the country



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