By Maria Famakinwa
The wife of Ondo State Governor, Arabirin Betty Akeredolu yesterday led other members of Forum for wives of Ondo State officials (FOWOSO) to empower women trained in different skills by providing them with start up kits.
The women were trained in skills like bead, soap, bag making among others.
The event which took place at Navy Mess Secretariat Igbokoda also enabled women who have learnt tailoring and hair dressing but could not start due to financial challenges to receive sewing machines and hair dryers grinding machines while students were also given laptops to aid their learning.
The physically challenged also went home with wheelchairs.
In his welcome address, the Olu of Igbokoda, HRM Oba Afolabi Oladimeji Odidiomo thanked Mrs Akeredolu for empowering women to be self reliant.
The monarch who lamented the high level of rape in the Local Government sought government’s support at reducing the menace.
He equally solicited government’s support at alleviating the suffering of the people in the area and improving their living standard.
In her response, Mrs Akeredolu described FOWOSO as a train moving from one Local Government to another adding that it is meant to empower women across the state so that they can be economically productive and contribute to the development of the state.
“One of the reasons for FOWOSO is to address what the Kabiyesi has said. This is the only Kabiyesi who has poured out his mind. FOWOSO recognizes girls and women and champions women’s cause. Issues of teenage pregnancies which you raised will be seriously looked into by creating a special programme where girls of this Local Government can be better educated.
In her goodwill message, the former Chairperson, Ilaje Local Government, Mrs Olufunbi Aworetan who described the empowerment programme as an opportunity to improve the lives of women in the state, thanked the First Lady for her efforts at repositioning the women of the state on the right path, for them to be self dependent and meet their families’ needs.
Aworetan who affirmed that FOWOSO programme has tremendously improved women’s lives across the State also thanked the Governor of the State, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu for prompt payment of workers’ salaries, and advancing the frontiers of governance by opening wider doors for women in the state.
Aworetan urged the beneficiaries not to sell the empowerment equipment given to them, but use it to benefit their lives.
Her words: “It is worthy of commendation that FOWOSO has impacted positively on the lives of women through skills acquisition trainings and provision of empowerment materials for sustainable self-employment. We want to commend the efforts of Arabinrin Akeredolu at giving women in the state meaningful lives.
The occasion was also used to educate women on breast cancer and the importance of checking their breasts monthly for any unusual change and report such immediately to the hospital as early detection saves lives. Women were also urged to support Olori’s connection initiative to improve the health of mothers and children across the state.
One of the beneficiaries, Ms Victoria Edema thanked the First Lady for the initiative of empowering women across the state as she noted that the empowerment programme came at the right time when many women are jobless.
She prayed that God will strengthen her to do more, saying: “Before now, I have nothing doing, but now, I have been taught how to make shoes and I am starting immediately. Thanks to Mrs Akeredolu.”
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