There are a few things in the world as heartwarming as a smiling widow. Such an unforgettable sight is particularly rare in a country where the woman who has lost her husband is often abandoned by family to her own devises. That is why the kind gesture by the Chinwe Bode-Akinwande (CBA) Foundation, which has again put smiles on the faces of widows in Nnewi, Anambra State as part of the new year celebration, is not only commendable but also worthy of emulation.
The CBA Foundation, a non-governmental organisation (NGO) at an event held on Saturday witnessed no fewer than 100 widows, who received food items, clothing, and free medical examination as well as treatment.
Speaking at the event, the founder of the NGO, Mrs Chinwe Bode-Akinwande, said the basis for starting the Foundation was driven by the need to impact lives of women who ordinarily may have lost hope.
“We give hope to the hopeless. We are driven to support underprivileged widows in having a positive outlook on life, despite the problems they experience by losing their loved one, mostly the breadwinner of the family,” she said.
She explained that the foundation currently has over 600 authentic widows on its profile, adding that the successes have been enormous, with many of the women now business owners able to not just fend for their families but are also employers of labour.
“Over 40 children who had lost hope in education are back to school, through the payment of school fees as well as stationeries. Twenty-Six underprivileged widows through our medical intervention recovered from stroke. One of the widows during our medical outreach in 2019 at Okun-Ilado, Ibeju-Lekki, Lagos weighed 36kg as a result of malnutrition, today she is well and sound,” she said.
Mrs Bode-Akinwande said that about four underprivileged widows attempted suicide but after the counselling sessions by the foundation, are doing well now and running their businesses.
“We have reached out to over 3,000 underprivileged widows and over 800 children during our International Widow’s Day outreaches since we started with food items, clothing, skill acquisition training, and financial empowerment to some selected and medical outreaches. We can go on and on but time wouldn’t permit me.
“We have a long term expansion plan but what matters to us at CBA Foundation is our immediate environment. This indeed forms the basis for expanding to our environment beyond Lagos, Ogun and Anambra, which we currently cover. We are hopeful that more individuals and organisations will support us to spread across the country and beyond,” she said.