Women Radiate Joy As Utomi Widows Support Centre Offer Free Basic Health Checks Rights Awareness 

Women Radiate Joy As Utomi Widows Support Centre Offers Free Basic Health Checks, Rights Awareness 

Over 400 women receive free basic medical checks, consultations and branded T-shirts as part of activities to mark 2024 International Widows Day
4 weeks ago
3 mins read

In celebration of this year’s International Widows Day, the Pat Utomi Widows Support Centre (WSC) in collaboration with some partners on Friday, 21 June organised a community walk, free basic health checks, awareness about personal hygiene and mobilizing support for widows’ rights and wellbeing.

In his opening remarks during the event held at Surulere Local Government Area, Lagos, founder of the centre, Prof. Pat Utomi, said the aim of the programme was to mobilise support for a united action towards addressing the challenges faced by widows and defending their rights in Nigeria.

“This day is not just about acknowledging their struggles but also about shining a light on their incredible courage and unwavering determination,” Utomi, who was represented by the Widows Support Centre programme coordinator, Ugochi ibeawuchi, said.

“Our mission today is to emphasize the importance of community, empowerment, and sustainable support for widows globally. We aim to create a supportive environment where they (widows) can thrive, knowing they are not alone in their journey,” Utomi stated.

Women Radiate Joy As Utomi Widows Support Centre Offer Free Basic Health Checks Rights Awareness 

He expressed appreciation to all organisations and individuals who have supported and partnered with the centre to reach out to as many widows as possible with welfare packages.

“We extend our heartfelt gratitude to our esteemed partners: The United Nations, for their global advocacy and unwavering support, The Vcare Foundation, Nagode, Afriglobal Medicare amongst others for their compassion and consistency in partnering with us,” he added.

The founder of Centre for Values in Leadership (CVL) which previously anchored the Widows Support Centre, urged concerned groups and individuals to remain committed in “advocating policies and practices that uplift and empower widows, ensuring they have access to the opportunities they deserve.”

Among the partners that supported the WSC event were Havana Specialist Hospital which provided free medical care for the widows; Vcare for Development Foundation (VCDF), supported with feeding, volunteers and resource persons that helped with activities and enlightening of the widows; Benson Idahosa University, Nagode, and Afriglobal Medicare also provided resources towards the success of the programme and empowerment of the women.

Women Radiate Joy As Utomi Widows Support Centre Offer Free Basic Health Checks Rights Awareness 

In a chat with Prime Business Africa, programme coordinator, Pat Utomi Widows Support Centre, Ugochi Ibeawuchi, said the centre fills fulfilled being able to put smile on the faces of so many widows.

“The various activities, from the distribution of branded T-shirts to the provision of medical services, were well-received and impactful. It’s heartwarming to see the positive effect of our efforts and the deep appreciation from the widows we support. The event not only celebrated their resilience but also reinforced our commitment to their well-being and empowerment,” Ibeawuchi stated.

She equally thanked the partners for their invaluable support that led to the success of the event.

“Today, we were able to distribute branded T-shirts to about 400 widows. In addition to this, we offered basic health check to these women, which included health screenings, consultations, and access to necessary medications. These efforts are part of our ongoing commitment to improving the overall well-being of the widows we support, ensuring they have access to both basic necessities and critical healthcare services,” she added.

Women Radiate Joy As Utomi Widows Support Centre Offer Free Basic Health Checks Rights Awareness 
The women during basic medical checks

The centre programme coordinator revealed that going forward, the centre will continue to building on its foundational goal of offering succour to widows by focusing on capacity building, advocating the rights of widows, and providing empowerment opportunities for them. “Our initiatives include vocational training, financial literacy programs, and small business grants to help widows achieve economic independence. Additionally, we are committed to expanding our advocacy efforts to influence policies that protect and uplift widows,” she stated.

She further called on well-meaning Nigerians, corporate organisations, and other NGOs to support the Widows centre’s initiatives, adding that “Together, we can create a more inclusive society where widows are empowered and their contributions are valued.”

READ ALSO: Utomi Widow Support Centre Celebrates 31st ‘Season Of Love’ In Lagos

Also speaking to Prime Business Africa at the event, national programme manager, VCare Development Foundation, Mr James Odey, said they are partnering with the widows support centre to give hope to women who have gone through a lot in the journey of their lives after the death of their husbands.

Mr Odey said VCDF’s presence at the event is not going to be a one-off-engagement as there are other plans give livelihood supports to widows through the centre.

Established in 2002, VCDF which currently operates in three Nigerian states of Lagos, Akwa Ibom and Delta, focuses on areas of health, education, sustainable livelihood, gender, and social inclusion.

Odey said that under the sustainable livelihood program, of the organisation, they intend to support widows in the area of economic empowerment.

The Pat Utomi Widows Support Centre, initiated in 1992 by Prof Pat Utomi through the PAT Utomi Trust for Humane Co-existence is to add value to the lives of widows and their children and to also help them overcome the burden and challenges they face due to the death of their husbands.

The centre play crucial roles in the areas of advocacy, addressing social injustices affecting widows through citizen education programmes, and challenging specific cases of injustices in the law courts. The centre has been consistent in calling for legislative intervention to create a system that addresses the plight of the widows across the country.

The centre has in over three decades of its existence also conducted skill acquisition programmes for widows and even their children in various areas, offered non-interest loans and micro-credit for their business, and free medical care among others.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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